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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

General advice to avoid non-essential travel and ‘Normal Precautions’ list of exemptions:

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. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.

Travel to a very limited set of locations is exempted from this advice. Individuals arriving into Ireland from these locations will not be required to restrict their movements upon entry. These locations currently have a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) security status rating. As of 4 August 2020, these locations are:

  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Slovakia

Inclusion on the list is based on the current epidemiological situation and related public health information in each location. The list and related travel advice will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis, based on advice from officials, including public health experts. Any updates or changes will be based on Government decisions. The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list. The above list was updated on 4 August following the latest review.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Irish citizens travelling to locations with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating 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 security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘do not travel’ (“red”).

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.  The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice and we recommend that citizens download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also 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.

Should you need to travel for essential reasons, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling.  Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.

What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

The Irish Authorities advise anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland and individuals arriving in Ireland from locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. To ensure that this is being observed all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.

Where to go for more information:

We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Overview

Security Status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Security Status Last Updated: 16 March 2020

Security 

We advise against non-essential travel to Rakhine State.

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

Latest Travel Alert

COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

Given that the Myanmar authourities have confirmed the first official cases of Covid-19 and that the Covid-19 outbreak is anticipated to place the most significant pressure on Myanmar’s health facilities, Irish tourists and short-term visitors and all other Irish nationals in Myanmar are very strongly encouraged to arrange to leave urgently.

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.

On 24 March 2020, the Government of Myanmar announced new restrictions on anyone wishing to enter Myanmar. Effective from 25 March 2020:

• All incoming Myanmar nationals from any country will be subject to a 14-day facility quarantine on their arrival in Myanmar.

• All foreign nationals travelling to Myanmar 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 for Myanmar. They will be subject to a 14-day facility quarantine on their arrival in Myanmar

• All diplomats accredited to Myanmar and United Nations officials working in Myanmar are also 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 for Myanmar. They will be subject to home quarantine for 14 days on their arrival in Myanmar

As the Covid-19 outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation with many new developments each day 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 Unrest

The political situation in Burma/Myanmar remains uncertain. 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.

We advise against non-essential travel to Rakhine State 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 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 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. Don't 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:

  • Don't carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
  • Don't carry your passport unless absolutely 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're a victim of a crime while in Myanmar, report it to the local police immediately.

Driving

If you're 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're hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you're 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