COVID-19 Information

Updated: September 21, 2020

Country-Specific Information:

  • See CDC’s COVID-19 website for more information.
  • View U.S. Embassy Rangoon’s most recent Alerts and Messages for U.S. Citizens.
  • As of September 21, Burma has confirmed 5,805 cases of COVID-19 within its borders and 94 deaths from the virus.
  • Burma can test for COVID-19 infections domestically.
  • There has been no change in the availability of fuel or water in Burma due to COVID-19. COVID-19 has disrupted the regular supply of some imported food products.
  • Criminal penalties exist, and are being applied, for violating Burma’s virus-control efforts.
  • On March 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post, including U.S. Embassy Rangoon, of U.S. personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at a higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.
  • The U.S. government has suspended all Peace Corps operations globally and Peace Corps volunteers in Burma returned to the United States.
  • The U.S. government is actively cooperating and assisting the Burmese government in its COVID-19 detection and preparation efforts.
  • The U.S. Embassy coordinated a repatriation flight for U.S. citizens on April 6, 2020. Given demand for the April 6 flight, we do not anticipate organizing another flight.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? – YES

  • Entry: Effective March 30, the Burmese government will no longer allow international commercial passenger flights to land at any airport in Burma. This suspension will last through September 30.  All landing permissions previously granted are suspended.  Exceptions apply to “relief flights, all-cargo flights, medical evacuation flights and special flights specifically approved by the Department of Civil Aviation.”
  • On March 19, the Burmese government announced the temporary suspension of entry and exit of foreign nationals through land borders. U.S. citizens cannot enter/exit Burma from/to any of Burma’s land borders with Thailand, Laos, China, India, and Bangladesh.
  • U.S. citizens seeking to enter Burma should contact their nearest Burmese Embassy for further information on entry permissions. The U.S. Embassy cannot assist private U.S. citizens seeking to return to Burma.
  • Exit: U.S. citizens seeking to depart Burma should consider purchasing a ticket on a relief flight from Yangon to Incheon, South Korea via Myanmar Airways International (MAI) or Korean Air, and then transiting from South Korea to the United States. Seats are available on multiple MAI and Korean Air flights.
  • U.S. citizens departing Burma have noted that the Yangon International Airport has turned off the air conditioning and all shops are closed. U.S. citizens should prepare accordingly for these conditions for the hours before their flight departs.

Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? – YES

  • On July 30, the Burmese government updated implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, to include the following:
  • All foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens and all diplomats and U.N. officials, are required to present laboratory evidence of absence of COVID-19 infection issued no more than 72 hours prior to the date of travel before boarding any airline destined to Burma.

Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? – YES

  • U.S. citizens have reported being asked to submit to a COVID-19-focused health examination as part of their in-country Burmese visa renewal process.

Movement Restrictions:

Is a curfew in place? – YES

  • The Burmese government has instituted stay-at-home orders, curfews, bans on public gatherings, and closures of public events, entertainment venues, and religious institutions.
  • The Burmese government imposed a nationwide ban on gatherings of 30 or more people, effective beginning on August 16. Exceptions include work commutes for public servants, corporate employees, and factory workers; medical emergencies; shopping at permitted markets; delivery of goods; employment activities; public, private, and monastic schools; holding meetings, discussions, and classes in line with Ministry of Health guidelines; eating at restaurants that follow Ministry of Health guidelines; official COVID-19 control and protection activities; and funerals.
  • There is a nationwide curfew in place, from 12:00 A.M. to 4:00 A.M. The government is actively enforcing this curfew.

Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? – YES

  • As of September 10, all domestic flights within Burma have been suspended until September 30.
  • Due to the recent outbreak in Rakhine State, travelers from Rakhine State to Yangon and other locations may be required to conduct a 14-day quarantine upon arrival (14 days in a government facility including two PCR nasal swab tests).
  • The Burmese government announced stay-at-home orders for all of Yangon Region (except for Coco Island), effective at 8:00 AM on September 21.
  • Residents of Yangon Region must abide by the following orders: 1.) stay at home unless going to/from work, 2.) employees of private organizations and businesses must telework (those working in banking and finance, gas stations, food and refrigeration services, production and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products, medical equipment production, and the distribution of drinking water and personal hygiene items are exempt), 3.) only one person per household allowed for grocery shopping, 3.) only two people per household allowed for medical treatment, 4.) a mask must be worn at all times when out of the home, 5.) only vehicles transporting people for one of the permitted activities are allowed to pass through other townships, 6.) in addition to the passenger(s), only one driver is allowed in a vehicle for the permitted activities, and 7.) advance approval from the respective ward administration is needed for anything that falls outside of these permitted activities. Failure to comply with this order will warrant action under the Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases Law.
  • Additional stay-at-home orders may be issued for other cities across Burma. Please monitor the local news for the latest updates.
  • Domestic travel in Burma is difficult due to various travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders, and document requirements, as well as uneven enforcement of these requirements. U.S. citizens seeking to travel domestically within Burma may need a recommendation letter from their ward administrator, employer, and/or township health officer, depending on their destination.  Prior to initiating any domestic travel, you should contact your current ward administrator and the ward administrator in your destination for guidance.  Your landlord or hotel manager can help you contact the ward administrator.  If you were recently in Burmese government-ordered quarantine, you should also bring the letter given to you upon discharge from the quarantine center.  If you do need to obtain recommendation letter(s), you should make multiple copies prior to traveling.  These document requirements do not apply for people traveling into Yangon from elsewhere in the country.

Yangon:

  • See above for information regarding stay-at-home orders.
  • Travel outside of Yangon Region is not allowed until October 1, except for health or emergency reasons.
  • All persons leaving their residence must wear a mask.
  • Health authorities have conducted spot health checks in all 33 Yangon municipal townships and may order persons suspected of having COVID-19 into quarantine.

Mandalay:

  • All travelers to Mandalay Region must bring a recommendation letter from their ward administrator. Your landlord or hotel manager can help you obtain a recommendation letter from your ward administrator. This requirement is unevenly enforced, and some travelers may not be asked for a recommendation letter.
  • Travelers from Yangon or Rakhine State must follow quarantine procedures similar to those being imposed on travelers to Nay Pyi Taw. Please see the below Nay Pyi Taw section for more information.
  • Stay-at-Home Guidance: Residents are instructed to stay at home during the daytime. Anyone leaving their homes for sufficient reasons (including buying or selling goods at a local market) must wear a mask.

Nay Pyi Taw:

  • The Nay Pyi Taw Council instructed law enforcement to inspect the health of all people entering Nay Pyi Taw, effective April 19.
  • As of September 1, all visitors to Nay Pyi Taw will be required to quarantine and submit to COVID-19 testing upon arrival, at the visitor’s expense.
  • Visitors are required to present a proof of residency letter issued by their respective townships or ward.
  • Visitors residing in townships currently placed under a stay-at-home order are subject to a seven-day quarantine upon arrival and two nasal swab tests on day two and day five of the quarantine. Only if both tests are negative will the visitor be allowed to visit their intended destination.
  • Visitors not residing in a township currently placed under a stay-at-home order are subject to a two-day quarantine and a nasal swab test on day two. Only if the test is negative will the visitor be allowed to visit their intended destination.
  • If a visitor is suspected of having a COVID-19 infection, they are required to immediately undergo medical treatment at a designated hospital.
  • Business Travel to Nay Pyi Taw: To enter Nay Pyi Taw for meetings and business travel, you must present a recommendation letter from the concerned Union Ministry. The letter must contain the purpose of the visit, names and positions of travelers, name of vehicle driver, vehicle license plate number, and office and residential addresses.  Burmese citizens must also provide a recommendation letter from their ward administrator.
  • Personal Travel to Nay Pyi Taw: Please contact the manager of your intended hotel for detailed guidance on required documents. You also will need to bring a recommendation letter from your employer and ward administrator.

Other Locations:

  • Stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions have been issued for most areas of Rakhine State, making travel in and out of the state challenging and unadvisable.
  • Travel restrictions and mandatory public health measures are in force in most parts of Burma. U.S. citizens travelling or resident anywhere in Burma should ensure they have the latest information on COVID-19 prevention measures in the locations they plan to visit, or currently reside in.  Note that new measures may be put into place with little or no advance notice.

Quarantine Information:

Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? – YES

  • On July 30, the Burmese government updated implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, to include the following:
  • All foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, must first self-quarantine in their countries of origin for seven days, quarantine in a government facility upon arriving for another seven days, and then self-quarantine at home for seven days. Foreign nationals will also be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test issued within 72 hours of boarding and must be tested for COVID-19 at the end of the government facility quarantine and at the end of the home quarantine period.  Those who arrive without results of a COVID-19 test issued within 72 hours of travel may be subjected to a 14-day government facility quarantine.
  • Arriving foreign nationals must present evidence of the required pre-arrival self-quarantine. The U.S. Embassy does not have clarification on what documentation the government will accept as evidence of the various requirements, such as the pre-arrival self-quarantine.
  • Foreign nationals planning to travel to Burma should contact their nearest Burmese Embassy prior to traveling to request approvals and clarification.
  • The Burmese government is not notifying the U.S. Embassy when a U.S. citizen is ordered into quarantine. If you are a U.S. citizen and are ordered in to COVID-19-related quarantine in Burma, please call the Embassy at 01-753-6509 to notify us and seek assistance.
  • The Burmese government has established isolation units at most public hospitals and some designated private hotels and Buddhist monasteries across Burma. The quality of these isolation units may vary greatly from U.S. hospital isolation units.
  • If a U.S. citizen is quarantined for COVID-19, the location of the quarantine will be a Burmese public hospital, Buddhist monastery, or designated hotel. You will not be able to choose your specific quarantine facility.
  • If you elect to be quarantined in a hotel, you will be charged for all hotel fees.
  • If a U.S. citizen is quarantined for COVID-19, the facility quarantine may last for seven days, followed by a seven-day home quarantine. During the quarantine period, any U.S. Embassy assistance will be subject to Burmese government approval.

COVID-19 Testing:

  • All COVID-19 testing in Burma is under the control of the Burmese government. The National Health Lab (NHL) can test in Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw.
  • Administrative testing for travel and other purposes in asymptomatic people is available in Burma. These tests are by appointment only through the National Health Lab (NHL). To make an appointment, the following is required: 1.) Request letter from MOHS in Nay Pyi Taw, 2.) Passport copy, and 3.) Airline ticket copy.
  • The National Health Lab is open from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM.
  • Those seeking a test must call the National Health Lab at 01371957. The address is No. 35, Hmaw Kun Daik Street, Dagon Township, Yangon.
  • Results are typically available the next day by 3:30 PM.
  • The test costs 200,000 MMK, paid by the customer.
  • This information may change frequently and without notice. Those seeking a test are advised to contact the lab first before showing up to check on the most recent requirements, policies, and operating hours.

Transportation Options:

Are commercial flights operating? – YES

  • Domestic flights have all been grounded. A limited number of outbound commercial flights are operating on Myanmar Airways International (MAI) and Korean Air to Incheon Airport in Seoul, South Korea. There are no commercial flights entering Burma currently.

Is public transportation operating? – YES

  • Trains: A limited number of train routes are operating.
  • Buses: Intra-provincial bus service has restarted but may be limited due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. City buses are operating as normal. 

Fines for Non-Compliance:

  • The Burmese government is actively enforcing rules regarding social distancing, curfews, movement restrictions, mask mandates, etc. Consequences can include fines or arrest for non-compliance. 

Consular Operations:

  • The U.S. Embassy in Burma is conducting routine and emergency American Citizen Services (ACS) at a reduced capacity. Please visit here to schedule an appointment or contact the ACS Unit.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Burma remains unable to resume routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services at this time. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but we are unable to provide a specific date. Please visit here for more information.

Local Resources:

  • The Ministry of Health and Sports publishes data daily about COVID-19 on its website. Read more here.
  • Fact-check information you read about COVID-19 in Burma. The Burmese government regularly publishes English-language information about COVID-19 in The Global New Light of Myanmar state-run newspaper.

Other Links: