Myanmar to Quarantine Arrivals from All Countries Over COVID-19

By Nan Lwin 24 March 2020

YANGON—The Myanmar government has ordered mandatory quarantines in government facilities for all travelers, except diplomats and UN officials, arriving from any country as Myanmar has confirmed its first cases of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Tuesday that the temporary restrictions will take affect for all travelers starting Wednesday. MOFA said that all arrivals—both Myanmar nationals and foreigners from any country—will be subject to a 14-day government facility quarantine on their arrival in Myanmar.

In addition, foreign nationals, including diplomats and UN officials, travelling to Myanmar are required to present a medical certificate showing they tested negative for COVID-19, issued no more than 72 hours prior to the date of travel, before boarding any flights bound for Myanmar.

Diplomats and UN officials arriving in Myanmar will be subject to home quarantine for 14 days.

MOFA said the ministry ordered the precautionary restrictions as the government is obliged to take precautionary measures to limit the risk that travelers may pose to citizens in Myanmar.

Myanmar confirmed on Monday that two people in the country have tested positive for COVID-19, one in Chin State and one in Yangon Region. The patients are a 36-year-old man who arrived from the US and a 26-year-old man who returned from the UK, both Myanmar citizens.

The government is preparing hospitals, stadiums, apartments and mediation centers across Myanmar to serve as quarantine centers for people who are arriving from foreign countries.

Myanmar has now quarantined about 273 people at hospitals across the country: 126 people in South Okkalapa Hospital and 54 people in Waibargi Hospital in Yangon, 67 people in Kandawnadi Hospital in Mandalay and 26 people at hospitals in other regions and states.

Before Tuesday’s announcement, MOFA had declared last week that all incoming travelers arriving from 14 countries—Italy, Iran, France, Spain, Germany, the United States, Switzerland, the UK, Netherland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Austria and Belgium—must be quarantined for 14 days at government facilities. Under the prior restrictions, Myanmar nationals who had been in high-risk areas such as China’s Hubei Province and South Korea’s Daegu and Gyeongbuk Region in the past 14 days were subject to a 14-day quarantine in government facilities.

The Myanmar government has also temporarily suspended all visas-on-arrival and e-visas until April 30.