Myanmar continues to adjust restrictions in Yangon Region as of Oct. 14 amid efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities have allowed garment factories and construction work to resume operations, provided the companies pass official inspection, and enforce precautions like distancing measures; the government attributed the policy to economic considerations. Yangon's residents remain banned from traveling out of the region, except for emergency or health reasons, among others. A 0001-0400 nightly curfew is still in effect. Schools remain shut until further notice.

Stay-home orders remain in effect across the region, except Cocokyun Township. Exemptions are in place for individuals with emergency and essential purposes, and people working in select sectors, such as medical, food establishments, manufacturing of essential products, banks, and financial services. Government employees must rotate between working on-site and at home every two weeks. Authorities allow only one person from each household to leave home to obtain supplies, while only two people per household can visit medical facilities. Wearing a facemask is compulsory when in public. Entry and exit in the areas are restricted, with exemptions for people performing official duties or facing emergencies; people leaving the areas for other reasons must seek the local officials' permission. Vehicles cannot operate in or pass by the areas, except those transporting people to and from work.

Some local authorities in other parts of Myanmar may require arrivals from Yangon to undergo stricter health checks and quarantine at their residence or government-designated facilities. Additionally, vehicles can operate on the Yangon-Mandalay highway only if the passengers have tested negative for COVID-19. Drivers may stop only at selected rest points and cannot stop at roadside inns.

Heightened security, as well as transport and business disruptions, are likely across the region. Officials may enact new measures or expand the curbs if any additional outbreaks occur in the coming weeks.

 

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Remain polite and cooperative if stopped by security personnel for checks. Avoid crowded areas. Stock up on essential supplies as a precaution. Confirm all travel reservations; consider deferring nonessential travel to and from the affected townships. Make allowances for likely travel restrictions if operating in the region. Abide by national and local health and safety measures. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize 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 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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