Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Myanmar continues to adjust COVID-19 curbs as of Sept. 4. Naypyidaw requiring arrivals to isolate. Entry ban for most foreigners in effect.
Alert Begins 04 Sep 2020 09:43 AM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Transport and business disruptions, quarantine measures; possible protests
Myanmar continues to adjust restrictions as of Sept. 4, following an increase in local coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Naypyidaw requires arrivals to quarantine and test for COVID-19 at government-designated sites, though the length of isolation varies. People coming from areas within Myanmar with no known COVID-19 cases will quarantine for at least two days, while arrivals from localities with known COVID-19 cases must isolate for at least seven days. Travelers must provide evidence of their recent travel history and can leave the quarantine facilities only upon testing negative for COVID-19.
Gathering and distancing protocols remain in effect nationwide. Gatherings remain limited to 30 people, with exception for public servants, government-related meetings, food establishments, and essential businesses. Factories can operate after passing government inspections. Restaurants can serve dine-in customers with precautions in place. Schools remain suspended until further notice. Officials continue to advise people to wear masks, practice personal hygiene, and maintain a physical distance of 2 meters (6.5 feet) when in public.
Varying localized movement controls remain in effect across Myanmar. A 0001-0400 nightly curfew remains in place in parts of the country. Residents throughout Rakhine State and seven townships in Yangon must stay at home, with exceptions for work, essential, and emergency purposes. Rakhine State is also enforcing a 2100-0400 nightly curfew, with limited exemptions. Local authorities in some areas are also increasing checks and restrictions on travelers from locations enacting stricter curbs. In Ayeyarwady Region, arrivals from Rakhine State must quarantine for 14 days at government-designated facilities and test for COVID-19; those who test negative will still have to isolate at their residence for seven days. Moulmein requires people arriving from the seven Yangon townships implementing stay-home rules to quarantine at government-designated premises for two weeks and undergo COVID-19 tests. In Mandalay Region, people coming from Rakhine State and other locations with known COVID-19 cases must quarantine for 21 days at government-designated sites and then self-isolate for seven days at their residences. The central and local governments could further adjust their response in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity continues to increase in-country.
Locals in parts of Myanmar have opposed the government's COVID-19 protocols, and demonstrations against control measures remain possible.
Officials have extended the suspension of visa-on-arrival and e-visa issuance for tourism and a ban on most international flights through Sept. 30. Relief and cargo flights can continue operating. Authorities may also allow special flights to transport citizens to and from Myanmar on a case-by-case basis. Returning Myanmar nationals must undergo a 21-day quarantine at government-designated sites, followed by one week of self-isolation. Resident diplomats and UN officials may undergo quarantine at their residence for two weeks.
Additionally, authorities permit business trips for essential sectors, such as oil, gas, and power, from mainland China and Japan in a so-called fast lane arrangement. Travelers must present a medical document stating they do not have COVID-19 obtained within 36 hours of boarding flights, undergo COVID-19 testing upon arrival in Myanmar, and isolate for five days at designated facilities. The government has restricted cross-border movements at land checkpoints, allowing only the transport of goods.
Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Defer travel if affected by travel restrictions. Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions, particularly if traveling from affected locations. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings at all ports of entry. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Avoid any demonstration as a precaution.
Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.