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Myanmar/Burma

If you’re travelling to Burma, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

Ireland is implementing the new EU ‘traffic lights’ approach to travel, which applies to countries in the EU / EEA. Our current advice for travel to these countries is ‘exercise a high degree of caution’. Our general advice for any other overseas travel remains ‘avoid non-essential travel’ or in some cases, ‘do not travel’.

Our TravelWise app has been suspended while we move to implement the new EU system. We apologise for this inconvenience. Updated information will continue to be provided on this website.

On 13 October, Member States adopted the EU Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel restrictions in the context of COVID-19. This ‘traffic lights’ approach provides for regions across the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) to be categorised as green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of the risk levels associated with COVID-19. A combined indicator map will be published each week by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based on agreed criteria, including the 14-day cumulative incidence rate, testing rate and testing positivity rates.

In line with the EU Recommendation, there will be no entry restrictions on passengers travelling from green regions. Each Member State will decide what entry restrictions it will apply to passengers travelling from red, orange and grey regions.

Information about what to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

All passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Further information about current requirements for entry to Ireland is available on the Irish Government website and the HSE website.

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas, other than to countries that are part of the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach, where the advice is to exercise a high degree of caution. Everyone is asked to comply with restrictions within Ireland, including those under the National Framework for Living with COVID-19. These are listed on the Official website of the Irish Government. The situation in relation to COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly around the world. Citizens who are considering any overseas travel are advised to carefully monitor the official advice and information from the public authorities in their destination.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Should you decide that you need to travel, you should inform yourself about any requirements in the destination to which you are travelling. Information about entry restrictions currently applied by other countries is available on the country-specific travel advice pages. Additional restrictions may be imposed, including during the duration of your visit. Flight restrictions and route cancellations continue to occur worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will operate as scheduled. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time. Any Irish citizen considering any overseas travel should monitor news and information from the public authorities in their country or region of destination. Citizens are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc.

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves. There are significant risks associated with international travel in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad, or those already abroad, are advised to monitor our travel advice, and follow us on Twitter. They are also advised to register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Where to go for further travel information:

Overview

Security Status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Security Status Last Updated: 16 March 2020

Security 

We advise against all non-essential travel to:

  • Rakhine State except the southern townships (administrative areas similar to a borough or county) of Munaung, Thandwe (including the tourist resort of Ngapali) and Gwa
  • Paletwa township in southern Chin State
  • Shan State (North)
  • Kachin State (except the towns of Myitkyina, Bhamo and Putao).

We advise against non-essential travel to the border areas with Thailand, Laos or China.

Latest Travel Alert

Travel to Myanmar is subject to entry restrictions

Entry to Myanmar

The Government of Myanmar has suspended all international commercial passenger flights from any of its airports until 30 September. It will then review the situation.

New tourist visa applications are currently suspended.

At present Myanmar authorities can offer business visas to foreign nationals with a compelling case. You or your employer must make your case to your nearest Myanmar Embassy and obtain permission.

These arrangements are subject to change and at short notice.

Testing/Screening on arrival

There are temperature checks for all arrivals. Arrivals must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result.

Testing requirements ahead of entry to Myanmar are subject to change. Confirmation should be sought from the Myanmar Embassy in London well in advance of your departure.

Quarantine requirements

Arrivals in Myanmar must enter government-arranged quarantine. You will be allotted your quarantine facility on arrival. You may have no choice but will be placed in the same government quarantine facility or hotel as all the other people on your flight. You will be provided with food, for which you will be charged.

The standard quarantine period for new arrivals is 28 days (21 days in a government-arranged facility, followed by 7 days of home quarantine). However, foreign nationals can, through contacting their nearest Myanmar Embassy, request permission to undergo a shorter quarantine period.

In this case, the quarantine requirements are as follows:

  • Complete 7 days home quarantine prior to the date of travel. This must be verified by an employer’s or doctor’s declaration, or a self-declaration. During these 7 days, you may only leave your place of quarantine to take a COVID test.
  • Provide evidence of a negative COVID test result.
  • Complete 7 days quarantine in a government facility or government approved hotel on arrival in Myanmar (allocated on arrival).
  • Undertake a COVID test after 7 days (through the National Health Laboratory, at a cost is MMK 200,000). If you test negative, you must complete a further 7 days of home quarantine, and will then be able to leave quarantine. If you test positive, you will be transferred to a designated government hospital for COVID patients. You will be required to remain for 28 days in hospital, after which you can leave if you have tested negative for COVID for two consecutive weeks prior.

The Government of Myanmar can extend quarantine periods for a number of reasons, even for those who have been granted permission to undergo a shorter quarantine period. This includes if any person on a flight tests positive for COVID-19.

If hospitalised with coronavirus, patients are obliged to use a government facility even if they have private insurance. Patients in government hospitals are generally expected to make their own arrangements for bringing in food and other essential supplies. Lone travellers will not be allowed out of isolation to purchase food or make phone calls.

These arrangements are subject to change and at short notice. Confirmation should be sought from your local Myanmar Embassy well in advance of your departure.

As the Covid-19 outbreak remains an evolving situation with many new developments, we recommend that all travellers or residents of Myanmar follow the Embassy of Ireland social media channels as we can post updates there more frequently than on this page.

Facebook: https://fb.me/IrishEmbassyThailand/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IrlEmbBangkok

 

Emergency responses to the Covid-19 crisis in many countries across the Asia Pacific region have included restrictions of flights from Europe; imposition of new mandatory quarantine arrangements in some countries and new restrictions affecting the admission of Irish people travelling to and within the region.

Options continue to become more limited for travel from Myanmar to Ireland, and these options are expected to become further restricted due to the grounding of numerous flights. You are strongly urged to contact your airline or travel agent urgently.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade strongly advises against any further non–essential travel to the region until the Covid-19 crisis has been contained.

Emergency responses to the Covid-19 crisis in many countries have included restrictions of flights to/from Europe; imposition of new mandatory quarantine arrangements and new restrictions affecting the admission of Irish people travelling to and within the Asia Pacific region.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade strongly advises against any non–essential travel to the region until further notice.

Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.

HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is below.

Do:
• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands

Don’t:
• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:

HSE

HPSC

ECDC

World Health Organisation

Political Unrest

There have been uncorroborated reports of potential bomb attacks in Nay Pyi Taw on September 26, October 16 or October 26. There are also uncorroborated reports of potential attacks in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay in the coming months.

On August 15, 2019, several coordinated attacks took place in the town of Pyin Oo Lwin, around 65 km from Mandalay, as well as in the township of Naung Cho (Nawnghkio) in northern Shan State. Clashes between the military and armed groups are ongoing in northern Shan State and are causing disruptions to road and rail connections in the area.

Political tension and unrest could happen at short notice. You are advised to be aware of your surroundings, make decisions to travel based on your own personal safety and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Emergency Assistance

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Burma/Myanmar, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Bangkok on +66 201 61360 (out of office hours please leave a clear message).

We suggest you learn as much as you can about Burma/Myanmar before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books and websites. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you're in Myanmar, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

EU Directive on Consular Protection

Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the TravelWise App
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency. You can register through the TravelWise App
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise and @irlembbangkok for the latest travel updates
  • Read our Topical 'Know Before You Go' guide

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Political Situation

The National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, holds a majority of seats in parliament and lead the government. Myanmar’s military retains 25% of seats in parliament as well as responsibility for three key Ministries – Defence, Border and Home Affairs. The next parliamentary elections have been scheduled for 8 November 2020. Ahead of any election, there may be increased gatherings and rallies. You should avoid all demonstrations and large political gatherings.

Myanmar has suffered from prolonged internal conflicts, involving a number of non-state armed groups from Myanmar’s border areas. Ten Ethnic Armed Groups and the Government have signed a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. Additional armed actors have bilateral ceasefire agreements with the government. However, even where there are ceasefires in place, the possibility of violent clashes remains in some areas of all border states including Shan, Rakhine, Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Karen/Kayin, and Mon. You should review the advice for each state before you visit, and seek advice from a local guide or tour operator where appropriate. There is no formal ceasefire as yet in Kachin State or in northern Shan State’s Kokang Self-Administered Zone.

The political situation remains unsettled outside the central areas. Restrictions on freedom of assembly, movement and the right to form trade unions remain in place following extremely narrow legislative reforms. Restrictions on freedom of speech, movement, religion, and political activity remain, and under current laws criticism of the government can result in imprisonment, detainment and deportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings.

There are restrictions on freedom of expression and political activities. Irish citizens in Myanmar should exercise caution and avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings. You should avoid taking pictures of demonstrations, police or military, including any police stations or military installations, as this may be prohibited by the authorities.

There have been demonstrations and protests in the past provoked by tensions between the Buddhist and Muslim communities, which have resulted in some injuries to bystanders, and some violent incidents and damage to property. We advise all travellers to take care to avoid any such demonstrations, and to avoid areas where large groups of protestors are gathering.

There is an ongoing intense conflict in Rakhine State between the Arakan Army and state forces. We advise against non-essential travel to Rakhine State, except the southern townships (administrative areas similar to a borough or county) of Munaung, Thandwe (including the tourist resort of Ngapali) and Gwa, due to tension from serious civil unrest in several locations and the risk that the situation could worsen. There are restrictions on access to certain areas and a curfew is in force. If you must travel to this area, check the situation and curfew timings locally and follow any instructions.

We also advise against all but essential travel to the border areas with Thailand, Laos or China, and against non-essential travel to Kachin State. We recommend that you avoid sectors affected by instability entirely. There have been military clashes in parts of Kachin State, except the towns of Myitkyina, Bhamo and Putao, and Shan State and you should be aware of the risks associated with insecurity in parts of Karen State.

Terrorism

There is an ongoing possibility of small bomb explosions in the major cities. On 15 August 2019, there were a series of coordinated attacks at a number of locations, including Pyin Oo Lwin in Mandalay Region, around 65km by road from Mandalay City, and Naung Cho (also spelled Nawnghkio) in northern Shan State. There were reports of a number of casualties, including civilians. The situation in northern Shan State remains volatile. On 17 and 20 November 2016, there were 3 small explosions in Rangoon. On 24 November 2016, there were 4 small explosions outside the Immigration Office in Rangoon. There were a series of explosions in Mandalay and Yangon/Rangoon in October 2013, and explosions in Naypyitaw, Mandalay, and Pyin Oo Lwin in 2012. While there have been no casualties in these attacks, a number of people have been injured, and the attacks themselves appear to be indiscriminate, possibly linked to the ongoing ethnic tensions across the country.

Landmines

Landmines pose a threat in conflict areas so exercise extreme caution if you are travelling in these areas. Do not stray off main routes, particularly in rural areas, and always check with your local contact before travelling to affected regions.

Crime

You should take sensible precautions to protect yourself from crime while in Myanmar:

  • Do not carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
  • Do not carry your passport unless necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and have situational awareness at all times.

Reporting Crime

If you are a victim of a crime while in Myanmar, report it to the local police immediately.

Driving

If you are planning to drive in Myanmar, you should be extremely careful. Road safety is poor and traffic is heavy and chaotic in urban areas. Poor road conditions, poorly maintained vehicles, and inadequate street lighting can make driving dangerous. Potholes, pedestrians, animals, abandoned vehicles, and vehicles travelling and parked at night without lights also pose risks.

If you want to drive, bring your full Irish and international drivers licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.

Vehicle Hiring

If you are hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you are allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Illegal Drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, ranging from a minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment. Do not use, share or distribute drugs.

Local Culture

Myanmar is a majority Buddhist country and Myanmar people take religion very seriously. There have been recent cases of foreign tourists being arrested for being disrespectful of religious practices, so we advise you to be cautious and sensible. Respect religious custom when visiting Buddhist religious sites – shorts, short skirts and sleeveless tops will cause offence. Shoes and socks should be removed before entering a pagoda or monastery. Using the image of the Buddha for decoration, including tattoos, is considered very offensive.

LGBT

Homosexuality is technically illegal in Myanmar, although these laws are rarely enforced in practice.

Natural Disasters and Climate

Natural disasters and climate

Earthquakes

Myanmar can experience extreme weather conditions and earthquakes. A strong 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck northeast India near the border with Burma/Myanmar and Bangladesh, on 4 January, 2016. A 6.8 Magnitude struck in the Bagan region in August 2016 and 4.7 most recently on the border with China in April 2017. If you're travelling to or living in Burma/Myanmar, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake.

Cyclones

Myanmar/Myanmar is prone to cyclones, which can be devastating in their strength. Burma/Myanmar's rainy season generally runs from the end of April to October, during which time cyclones may be frequent. Monitor local and international weather updates during your stay, particularly if you're planning to travel throughout the country and always follow local authorities' instructions about security and evacuation. Be aware that certain areas or roads, including major roads between towns, may become impassable due to localised flooding in this period

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

If you are unsure of what the entry requirements for Burma/Myanmar are, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Burma/Myanmar. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from date of entry into the country.

Border requirements

You must leave Myanmar by the same border crossing you entered. Don't enter restricted areas without the appropriate permissions from the authorities. The Ministry of Hotels, Tourism and Sport maintains a list of approved destinations.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Burma/Myanmar. The health services in Myanmar are of a much lower standard than Irish hospitals and services. Ensure you have good travel insurance before your journey.

 

More travel advice

Foreign Ministries with resident Embassies in Burma/Myanmar may be able to provide more detailed and current information as follows:

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

After business hours, Irish Citizens seeking emergency consular assistance should contact the Duty Officer number at +662-016-1360.

Please leave a message with your name, contact number and details of the emergency.

Embassy of Ireland
12th Floor, 208 Wireless Road
Lumpini, Pathumwan
Bangkok 10330

Tel: +66 2 016 1360
Fax: +66 2 675 3933

Monday to Thursday 09:30-12:00 and 14:30-15:30, Friday 09:30-12:00

Contact us