Countries across the world are introducing entry restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19. This new strain of coronavirus first appeared in China towards the end of 2019.
Positive measures are now being taken by the government of Myanmar in response to the outbreak.
With less than 30 coronavirus diagnoses in Myanmar so far, it is hoped that by barring travelers visiting from the worst affected areas, the effect on the country and its residents can be minimized.
All limitations are temporary and constraints will be lifted once the virus is under control.
The information below explains which countries have been impacted by the regulation and what it means for travelers.
As this is a developing situation, all those planning trips abroad are advised to keep up to date with the latest official announcements.
Countries Affected by Myanmar Coronavirus Entry Restrictions
On March 21st, 2020, Myanmar’s Foreign Affairs Ministry announced a temporary suspension of issuance of visas on arrival and e-visa applicable to all visitors from all countries. According to a statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, this initiative —which is already in effect— has been taken to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously, Myanmar had imposed measures to curb travel from the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. However, new restrictions have been set in place for all countries in an effort to further limit the spread or COVID-19.
The general suspension is scheduled to remain effective until April 30, 2020.
Although they have been asked to take home quarantine, some exceptions have been set in place for diplomats accredited to Myanmar, resident United Nations (UN) officials as well as foreign nationals required to visit Myanmar on compelling reason.
These official representatives may contact a Myanmar diplomatic mission such as an embassy or consulate to request the necessary entry visa or futher directions.
Further restrictive measures regarding travelers arriving to Myanmar from coronavirus-hit nations were also announced.
All foreign and national visitors arriving to Myanmar from the following countries will be placed under facility quarantine upon arrival:
- United States
- The Netherlands
Furthermore, all incoming passengers are asked to produce a medical certificate signed by a medical practitioner. The document must be issued by a medical facility that is recognized by the traveler’s national health authorities.
Additional precautionary measures set in place to further prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in Myanmar include temporary suspension of foreign visitors’ crossing through Burma border entry points.
Earlier in March 2019, visitors from just 2 nations were subject to entry bans, anyone who had recently spent time in the following countries was denied entry to Myanmar:
- South Korea
People arriving from the following states, or those who have recently spent time in the area, can continue to enter Myanmar required to spend 14 days in government quarantine facilities on arrival:
Those who had recently been to the United States were monitored for 14 days from arrival.
All these initiatives are short-term and have been introduced to safeguard Myanmar nationals and visitors. The normal visa regulations will resume as soon as possible.
The Myanmar tourist visa has a maximum stay in the country of 28 days while the business visa has a maximum stay of 70 days. If you are in the country and need to extend your visa, please consult the information on the Myanmar extension visa.
Can I travel to Myanmar during the coronavirus outbreak?
Up until mid March, 2020, only people who had recently spent time in the countries listed above were affected by changes to Myanmar’s visa requirements.
However, new restrictions were announced on March 21st, whereas visas on arrival and eVisas for Myanmar are currently suspended for travelers of all nationalities.
Preventative Measures for Coronavirus in Burma
In addition to implementing the restrictions detailed above, mass gatherings in Myanmar have been temporarily banned.
On Friday, it was announced that the nationwide Thingyan Water festival, celebrated to welcome in the New Year, would not go ahead as planned from 13th to 16th April 2020.
Although disappointing for all those who had hoped to take part, it is considered a necessary move given the current situation.
Quarantine Information for Foreigners in Myanmar
COVID-19 originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan and, although China remains the nation with the most confirmed cases, has now spread to over 100 countries worldwide (Myanmar is not currently on this list).
Travelers across the world are being asked to follow standard international health and safety instructions to avoid contracting the coronavirus.
- Wash hands thoroughly and regularly using soap and water
- Apply alcohol-based sanitizer gel when soap and water are unavailable
- Do not come into close contact with infected individuals
- Avoid touching the face, especially nose and mouth
- Cover face with tissue or sleeve when sneezing
As always, foreigners should take notice of vaccine requirements and health information, taking extra precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most people with the coronavirus will experience standard flu-like symptoms including a cough, fever and breathing difficulties. The majority of those infected will make a full recovery within a couple of weeks.
Anyone in Myanmar displaying any of the symptoms should stay at home, self-isolate and seek medical advice.