Message to U.S. Citizens: Security Information Update


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 very limited ability to provide assistance.  You can read the full Travel Advisory here.

Security Situation:  As of today, 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.

Police continue to resort to forceful tactics, including the use of tear gas and in some cases live ammunition to disperse protests.  Roadblocks, either created by security forces or by community watch members, may exist.  Continue to avoid protests and be especially mindful in areas with security force presence.  On days when protests are particularly heavy, delay unnecessary travel and monitor the news.  U.S. citizens should be especially cautious when interacting with security forces, to include passing security checkpoints.  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.

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.

Airport and Flights: Yangon International Airport (YIA) remains open for international relief flights from Singapore Airlines, MAI, and others.  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, and Samitivej International 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.

Supermarkets: City Mart/Marketplace announced nationwide closure on March 4 for the second time since the coup.  Such announcements usually occur the day before a closure.  Since then, many supermarkets have reopened with limited hours.  Please plan to have a sufficient stock of food for several days in the event closures continue.

Electricity: After reports of a nationwide power outage earlier this month, no additional incidents have been reported.  Authorities have not indicated whether there will be future outages.

Fuel: We have not received reports of a fuel shortage.  Gasoline for vehicles is still available in most locations.  It is recommended to keep your gas tank near full if possible.

Financial Transactions: Many banks and Western Unions in Burma remain closed.  Some businesses will accept cash payments only.  International credit cards are accepted at certain businesses.  Currency exchange services remain open in some areas.  Some ATMs continue to dispense cash, and reports this week indicate more ATMs are functioning than in previous weeks.  Ensure you have enough cash on hand should shortages and disruptions in banking persist.

Medical Services.  Major private hospitals in Yangon and Mandalay remain open.  There are no reports of shortages in medication or supplies.  Please check your local medical provider for updates on the services you need.

Communications: The mobile internet outage began Monday morning, March 15, and authorities have not indicated when it will end.  The outage is impacting all local cellular providers.  Home/fixed internet service providers (ISPs) continue to function in most parts of the country, with internet outages occurring between 1:00 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. 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.  As with previous internet outages, update loved ones in the U.S. when you have connectivity to let them know your status.  Please be cautious with information you hear from friends or on the internet.

Please review the personal preparedness guidelines below:

  • Under martial law, it is important to comply with checkpoint requirements.
  • 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: