Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Myanmar extends nationwide restrictions through at least June 15 amid easing of some local measures. Entry ban remains in effect.

This alert affects Myanmar

This alert began 29 May 2020 05:58 GMT and is scheduled to expire 19 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions, quarantine measures; possible protests

Summary
Myanmar's central government has extended nationwide restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through at least June 15, amid the easing of some local measures. While most gatherings remain limited to five people, exemptions now include public servants, government-related meetings, food establishments, and essential businesses. Restaurants can reopen for dine-in services with precautions; employees must wear masks and set up partitions between customers. Officials continue to advise the public to wear masks or face coverings; residents may face fines for breaching the rules. Schools remain closed through July.

Varying internal movement controls remain in effect across most of the country. Authorities continue to implement a 0001-0400 nightly curfew in several areas, including the Yangon region, multiple townships of Naypyidaw, and Kachin, Kayin, and Shan states. Officials in Yangon are lifting stay-at-home orders for residents in Bahan, Pabedan, South Okkalapa, and Tarmwe townships from 1600 May 29. However, the city is maintaining stay-at-home rules for Insein and Mayangon townships, where access remains blocked. Residents must request permission from ward officials to leave the locations. Police are restricting transport to commuting employees. Only one person from each household can go out to purchase essential supplies.

Local governments in other locations continue to implement additional measures. Entry and exit to the Mandalay region for tour groups remain restricted. People arriving from areas with known COVID-19 cases must undergo a 21-day quarantine at designated facilities. Authorities have also suspended entertainment venues. Naypyidaw has set up checkpoints and quarantine travelers showing COVID-19 symptoms for 21 days.

Residents in some parts of Myanmar have opposed movement controls or the suspension of factory operations; demonstrations are possible in the coming weeks.

Travel Restrictions

All international flights, except for relief and cargo flights, remain suspended. The government has restricted cross-border movements, allowing only the transport of goods. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also suspended visa issuance and visa-free travel to the country; diplomats, UN officials, and aircraft and ship crew members are exempt from the restrictions. Arriving travelers, with some exceptions, must undergo a 21-day quarantine at a designated government facility, followed by one week of self-isolation.

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.

Advice
Postpone travel if affected by travel restrictions. Confirm flight status before checking out of accommodation and departing for the airport. 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.


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