May 18, 2021
THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN RANGOON IS TRANSMITTING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION THROUGH THE AMERICAN LIAISON NETWORK AS A PUBLIC SERVICE TO U.S. CITIZENS IN BURMA. PLEASE DISSEMINATE THIS MESSAGE TO ALL U.S. CITIZENS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION OR NEIGHBORHOOD.
Travel Advisory: The current Level 4 Travel Advisory is the highest level issued by the Department of State and advises U.S. citizens not to travel to Burma or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so due to the greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. As a result of these conditions, if you experience an emergency, the U.S. Embassy has limited ability to provide assistance. You can read the full Travel Advisory here.
Security Situation: The Embassy is aware of the increasing number of explosions in Yangon and other cities over the last few weeks. While these explosions continue to target almost exclusively locations that may be affiliated with the military regime, this past weekend there were reports of two explosions – one outside the Lord Pub in Thingangyun Township and the second at the Denko gas station in North Okkalapa Township – that may indicate an expansion of targeted locations. Civilians were reportedly injured and killed in these explosions. The threat of a “wrong place, wrong time” security incident impacting civilians currently remains the primary risk associated with these explosions. At this time, there is no indication foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, are the target of these attacks.
Be vigilant of your surroundings when going out, especially in large gatherings. If you are out and notice something suspicious, leave the area immediately.
Please continue to be mindful of checkpoints and if stopped comply with authorities. There are reports that security forces at some of these checkpoints have inspected the phones or laptops of travelers, including foreign nationals, for any evidence of their involvement in anti-regime activities. Please consider what information you want to store on your phone and other devices when traveling.
In the event you are approached by local law enforcement, identify yourself as a U.S. citizen and attempt to return home or to a public space as soon as possible. A best practice is to carry your U.S. passport to aid in identification. If local law enforcement comes to your home, comply and indicate that you are a U.S. citizen. For your awareness, it is illegal in Burma to take photos or videos of security force operations or military facilities. Police may take action against individuals attempting to do so.
Martial law is still in place in Yangon in the following townships: Hlaing Thar Yar, North Dagon, South Dagon, Shwe Pyi Thar, Dagon Seikkan, and North Okkalapa. In Mandalay, martial law has been enacted in the following townships: Aung Myay Thar Zan, Chan Aye Thar Zan, Chan Mya Tha Si, Maha Aung Myay, Pyigyidagun. In these townships, martial law may suspend certain civil liberties allowing security forces to be more aggressive in response to protests and in the enforcement of laws and regulations. U.S. Embassy staff have been advised not to travel to the above-mentioned townships in Yangon without prior approval.
Curfew: A nationwide ban on gatherings of five or more people, as well as a nationwide curfew from 8:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m., remains in place. The curfew in Yangon has been changed to 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.
Communications: The mobile internet outage began on March 15, and authorities have indicated it will be extended indefinitely. The outage is impacting all local and international cellular providers. Some apps have begun to work again on mobile data. Wi-Fi hotspot providers have also been shut down indefinitely. Home/broadband internet service providers (ISPs) continue to function in most parts of the country. Internet connectivity may still be inconsistent or slow for some throughout the day. Landline phones as well as mobile calling and SMS continue to function.
Please be cautious with rumors and unverified information you hear from friends or on the internet.
Financial Transactions: Many banks and Western Unions in Burma remain closed. However, some banks have reopened and are allowing limited cash withdrawals. Some businesses will accept cash payments only. International credit cards are accepted at certain businesses. Currency exchange services remain open in some areas. More ATMs are dispensing cash than in previous weeks, but long lines and limits on withdrawals have made it increasingly difficult to obtain cash. Ensure you have enough cash on hand should shortages and disruptions in banking persist.
Airport and Flights: Yangon International Airport (YIA) remains open for international relief flights from Singapore Airlines, Myanmar Airways International (MAI), and Myanmar National Airlines (MNA). Please contact travel agencies and airlines to book flights and get the latest information. Please refer to our website for travel agent and airline contact information. The road to the airport remains open.
COVID Testing Facilities: The Airport Cargo Warehouse at YIA, N Health, Pun Hlaing Hospital, Samitivej International Clinic, and International SOS Clinic continue to offer COVID-19 tests for international travel. Please refer to our COVID-19 website for the latest information on local testing options and for more information about CDC testing requirements.
Shipment and Mail: Seaports remain closed due to worker strikes and only very limited cargo is cleared through customs. DHL has resumed services to send and receive documents and packages. The Embassy cannot assist you with mail delivery.
Please review the personal preparedness guidelines below:
- Under martial law, it is important to comply with checkpoint requirements.
- If you are traveling and notice something suspicious, leave the area immediately.
- Shelter in your home should there be violence in your neighborhood.
- If in an apartment, familiarize yourself with your building’s fire exits.
- Make plans to account for the whereabouts of your loved ones if internet and cellular service are cut.
- Ensure you have enough food, water, cash, and other essentials to last you for several days.
- Contact loved ones in the U.S. when you can to update them on your status.
- Prepare a go-bag with essential items for immediate travel.
- Make sure your passport is still valid. Many countries require at least 6 months validity for entry or transit.
- Carry our emergency contact card in your wallet or on your phone.
The Consular Section of U.S. Embassy Rangoon remains open and is providing routine and emergency American citizen services. Please visit our website to schedule an appointment to renew your passport, register your child’s birth abroad, or for notary services.
For information and assistance:
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Burma, located at 110 University Avenue, Kamayut Township, Rangoon, at (+95) 1-753-6509 or at ACSRangoon@state.gov.
- Visit our website.
- Refer to the Burma Country Specific Information.
- Review the Department of State Travel Advisory for Burma.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- If you are in the United States, call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free or 1-202-501-4444 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- Follow us on Twitterand Facebook.