Myanmar is struggling with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the political instability caused by the coup on 1 February 2021. Travelling to Myanmar is again allowed, but it is still not possible to apply for a tourist visa. In this article, you can read about the current situation in the country regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the consequences for your travel plans. This article was last updated on 21-04-2022.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) in Myanmar
In the beginning of 2021, Myanmar was still reporting few cases of infection. This was partly because there was little testing being done for the coronavirus after the coup on 1 February. However, more tests were administered during the summer months and infection rates rose sharply. In July, for example, more than 140,000 people were infected with the coronavirus. Since this peak, the numbers have been gradually decreasing. In the first two weeks of January 2022, only 2,500 infections were reported. The omicron variant is also on the rise in Myanmar. On 13 January, the government reported that a total of 63 people had been diagnosed with this variant. Myanmarʼs vaccination programme has been up and running since the summer of 2021. 36 million vaccination shots have been administered in the country of 55 million people.
Myanmar has taken several measures to combat the coronavirus. For example, since May 2020, wearing a face mask in public places is compulsory. Many restaurants are still closed, and some shopping centres require visitors to register in advance. For travel within the country, local rules often apply. For example, it may be compulsory to undergo a test before travelling to a certain area or to be quarantined on arrival.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Myanmar: the number of infections has been declining since the summer of 2021.
The political situation in Myanmar
Since the coup dʼétat of 1 February 2021, Myanmar has been under a state of emergency, which has had a major impact on public life. Banking services, public transport and medical services have been affected. Furthermore, telephone and internet traffic are regularly disrupted. A curfew is in effect in parts of the country, between 20:00/22:00 and 04:00.
Violent conflicts continue to take place in Myanmar, with firearms and explosives being used regularly. Therefore, most European governments advise against travel to Myanmar. European citizens who are currently in Myanmar are advised to leave the country soon. The British Foreign Office advises against all but the most essential travel to Myanmar.
Can I currently travel to Myanmar?
As a result of the positive developments regarding the infection and vaccination rates in Myanmar, the government has decided to reopen the borders for international travellers. People that want to travel to Myanmar from foreign countries are required to arrive at Yangon International Airport (RGN). However, it is not yet possible to apply for a Myanmar tourist visa. As a result, there are not many commercial flights to Myanmar.
Foreigners can only receive a Myanmar visa in exceptional cases. This applies, for example, to urgent United Nations missions or official diplomatic missions. In these exceptional cases, travellers must submit an application to the Myanmar embassy before their departure. Those who wish to travel to Myanmar under these conditions must show a confirmation of their vaccination, and the negative result of a PCR test for COVID-19, which is not older than 72 hours at the time of departure. Additionally, travellers are required to take out a special Covid-19 insurance and fill in a declaration of health.
All travellers are obligated to take a Covid-19 test upon their arrival in Myanmar. The costs of the test must be paid by the traveller. Only when the test comes back negative, may travellers leave the airport and are they free to travel through Myanmar.
Can I apply for a Myanmar visa?
Despite the reopening of the Myanmar borders, it is currently only possible to apply for a Myanmar visa in exceptional cases. Tpurist visas are currently not granted. In some exceptional cases, it is possible to acquire a travel premit. For these, the traveller has to contact the Myanmar embassy.
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What if I am already in Myanmar?
Due to the coup last year, the British authorities urgently advise British citizens to return to the UK if possible. There are still regular commercial flights leaving the country, usually from a regional airline to, for example, Singapore. In many cases, these flights cannot be found online, but have to be booked through the airline or a travel agency. Make sure you have printed out all the documents needed for the flight in advance, as Wi-Fi at Rangoon airport is poor. If you are unable or unwilling to leave the country, it is advised that you keep a close eye on and follow the local rules surrounding COVID-19. Myanmar sometimes hands out heavy penalties if the coronavirus rules are not followed.
The UK and Ireland abolished all COVID-19 rules for travellers returning from abroad. This means that no pre-departure test is required and no passenger locator form needs to be filled in. Post-arrival quarantine is also no longer required. However, countries may have their own rules for leaving, which you must still follow in order to return home.
Disclaimer: no rights can be derived from the information on this page. Due to the rapid succession of new developments, it is not possible to guarantee that all information is entirely current and complete. However, we strive to provide timely updates on the status of COVID-19 in Myanmar and its impact on your travel plans and visa.