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For your convenience, we have collected a summary of guidelines and regulations for foreigners hoping to travel in Myanmar during the global pandemic. These will be updated and sent out weekly. As with everything at the moment, guidelines are subject to change because the situation remains fluid.
Due to the military coup on Monday 1st February and the unstable situation that prevails, Sampan Travel currently recommends against all but essential travel.
The rules on travelling domestically are yet to be made clear. Until the situation settles, internationals are advised to stay home, except for collection of essential provisions.
The military has blocked access to Facebook. Therefore if you are reading from within Myanmar, you may not be able to follow some of the below links.
There are a handful of hotels offering “staycation” packages to Yangon residents. There are also some hotels outside of Bago welcoming Yangon residents under certain requirements. More and more hotels are receiving permission to open on Ngapali Beach as well as south of Ngapali and at Gwa. We are in touch with these hotels in regard to the guest-requirements, safety measures and promotional rates. The situation is changeable. Please contact us for more information.
There are also cruise ships selling cabins. Please contact us for more information.
Be sure to confirm the status of the hotel you wish to stay at with a tour operator, travel agent or the hotel directly. Also be aware that the requirements of each hotel (eg. some require health certificate and / or test results) can change at the last minute. You will want to ensure with you travel provider or directly with the hotel that full refunds will be offered in these scenarios.
Myanmar National Airlines’ domestic and international relief flights will resume as scheduled on 4th February 2021. Air KBZ will also resume domestic flights effective from 4th February 2021. Please note that due to civil disobedience campaigns, services may be disrupted.
COVID-19 regulations remain in place.
Before boarding passengers must show a negative COVID-19 test no older than 36 hours. Test centers for travel purposes have been opened in Yangon: one is located in the Tourist Burma building in downtown’s Kyauktada Township near to Sule Pagoda, opening hours from 9AM-3PM. You need to bring your flight ticket, NRC (or) Passport, and a picture no older than 6 months. No appointment is required.
You can also get tested at Pun Hlaing Hospital in Haing Thar Yar. COVID-19 Tests are available for both flight passengers and private car passengers by appointment only. Please call COVID-19 Testing Center in Pun Hlaing Hospital at 09 9400 47757 from 9AM-4PM.
It is believed that in the future more private clinics will take over testing.
To receive a test from one of these centres you are required to bring your flight ticket together with passport or National Registration Card or other official document stating your nationality and one photo no older than six months. An RDT test will cost 10,000 MMK. Those who test positive will be taken into quarantine. Those who test negative can proceed on their travels. From Sampan’s experience, the Burma Tourism Building Test Centre is most busy from 9AM-10AM. The entire process can take up to 3 hours.
Here there is some information from the Yangon International Airport about procedures and regulations in place at the airport.
Upon arrival in your destination, you must follow the local quarantine policies and others regulations. If you are from a Stay-at-Home township travelling to a non-Stay-at-Home township you will be required to enter quarantine. If state facility quarantine is full you will be taken to hotel quarantine – all costs must be borne by you. An RT-PCR test will be taken on the third day of quarantine and the cost of the test (35,000 MMK) will be charged to you. If the test result is negative you will be free to leave. In the cases where RT-PCR test are not available, RDT test will be taken on the seventh day of quarantine and you will be allowed to go only if the result is negative.
If you are travelling from a Stay-at-Home townships to another Stay-at-Home township, quarantine is not required. You will of course be obliged to “Stay at Home”. Some hotels – such as a handful at Ngapali Beach – have been authorised to allow guests to “Stay at Home” at the hotel.
If travelling from a non Stay-at-Home township, you will not need to enter quarantine. (A list of Stay-at-Home townships can be found here.)
Until the highways are re-opened, it will not be so easy to travel other than by air.
In addition to your passport and valid visa, we recommend that you travel with a ward endorsement. A “Travel Record” and health endorsement may also be necessary.
A ward endorsement is a document stating your recent travel history. A template can be seen here. This should be renewed on a monthly basis. A “Travel Record” is also from your ward office and states your local travel history. A template can be found here. Please note these are only templates that we hope will help non-Burmese speakers communicate with authorities so to receive the correct documentation. Health endorsements are issued by the Public Health Department of your respective township. Due to the current Stay-at-Home orders, it is likely that these will not currently be issued unless you can prove that your travel is work related.
Requirements vary from region to region and are likely to be stricter on public holidays and dependent on where you are travelling from and where you live. Please scroll down and view “Recommended Documentation.”
In time, we believe a negative COVID-19 test will replace the need for all other COVID-related documentation. For now, considering the political situation, we recommend internationals travel with copies of their passport (including information page, Myanmar visa, and stamp from when you last entered the country), Form C, Foreign Registration Card, and Myanmar driving license if you own a car.
We currently do not recommend travelling by land at all.
Some restaurants, bars and shops have reopened with temperature checks and social distancing measures in place. Some shopping centres may require customers to register their details upon entry. You must wear a face mask in public places.
Note than in Yangon and much of the country the midnight to 4AM curfew remains in place. After the coup of Monday 1st February, an unofficial announcement has been made as to a stricter curfew in Yangon. We are yet to receive more clarification on this but it loosely covers the hours of darkness.
On Monday 1st February the military directed airports to close and suspended all domestic and international commercial passenger flights until 31st May 2021 at the earliest. Since then, MNA have announced that they will continue operating relief flights.
The new labour ministry is looking into visas and immigration which may make it harder for all internationals to travel to Myanmar.
Residents of the United Kingdom, or those who have visited the United Kingdom within the previous 14 days, are currently unable to enter Myanmar. British Nationals not travelling from the United Kingdom should check the requirements for travel from that country to Myanmar with the relevant Myanmar Embassy or Consulate General. We have anecdotal evidence that British passport holders are being denied entry to Myanmar even if they have not been in the UK in the last 14 days.
Foreign nationals arriving in Myanmar will need to undergo a quarantine period. The exact length will depend on your travel history. You should confirm your quarantine requirements with the relevant Myanmar Embassy before you travel.
Most travellers will be covered by the following quarantine requirements:
These rules are subject to change at short notice, and the government of Myanmar can extend quarantine periods for a number of reasons, even for those who have been granted permission to undergo a shorter quarantine period. This includes if any person on a flight you might have used tests positive for COVID-19, or in response to the situation in a country you might have recently visited.
If hospitalised with coronavirus, patients are obliged to use a government facility even if they have private insurance. Patients in government hospitals are generally expected to make their own arrangements for bringing in food and other essential supplies. Lone travellers will not be allowed out of isolation to buy food or make phone calls.
These arrangements are subject to change and at short notice.
For more information from the Myanmar Government on the pandemic in Myanmar and travelling through the country please consult the Ministry of Health & Sport (here is their Facebook Page) and the Ministry of Hotels & Tourism (Facebook Page here). MoHT have released the Tourism National Guidelines for COVID-19 Safe Services (Beta Version VI). You may wish to check the information issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on their website and on their Facebook Page before you travel inside Myanmar.
Here is an in-depth dashboard of the situation in Myanmar including the death rate and the number of positive cases in different locations.
Here is an expansive, cross-industry report on the restrictions and guidelines in place in regard to the pandemic in Myanmar produced by the British Chamber of Commerce. This report is updated periodically. Please be sure to check the date of the report. Here are some slides from a presentation by the British Chamber and Pun Hlaing Hospitals on coexisting with COVID in the workplace.
Here you will find the pandemic-specific travel advice from the British Foreign Office.
We recommend Frontier as a reliable on-the-ground news source. You can subscribe to their Daily Briefing here. If you are on Twitter, this list has been created to help people follow developments after the coup.
Here the FDA outlines the differences between the various COVID-19 tests including molecular, antigen, and antibody. WHO urges caution when it comes to rapid, easy-to-use tests, many of which are being sold in Yangon.
We recommend Pear Anderson’s Coronavirus Travel Impact Dashboard for the latest travel industry news and analysis across Southeast Asia. Our World in Data has a plethora of charts, graphs and statistics of the situation globally.
Here you can see the “Safe Travels” Global Protocols from the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Our first priority is to ensure that the Sampan team is safe. Work from home is facilitated and strongly encouraged for those who are at high-risk or living with high-risk individuals. Those showing symptoms of COVID-19 are requested to stay away from the office.
Hygiene measures have been put in place in the office. Physical distancing is allowed for and external visitors are kept to a bare minimum.
Information and clear communication about Sampan’s internal office policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic are displayed.
Our full internal policy can be seen here. Please note that this is a breathing document that will be adapted as the situation develops.
Sampan Travel requires assurance from all our partners throughout our supply chain on the precautions they are taking to keep our guests safe.
Sampan has created the following guidelines to which our Partners must adhere to:
These guidelines have been based on regulations drawn up by the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MOHT), the World Travel and Tourism Council, and the “Tour Care” Guidelines created by the Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO), the European Tourism Association (ETOA), and the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).
In addition to the above Guidelines, guests of Sampan are invited to request to see the specific policies and guidelines of any of Sampan’s partners collaborating on their journey.
Sampan Travel will provide clear, consistent and up-to-date communication to Our Guests on new health & hygiene protocols.
The Guidelines referred to in the “Our Partners” section above will be shared with Our Guests prior to their trip. Specific precautions being taken by specific partners can be provided upon request.
Our Guests are requested to read Sampan’s COVID-19 Secure Policy – Our Guests in full so they are aware of both the precautions we are taking to keep them safe and the precautions expected of them to keep others safe.
Our Terms & Conditions have been made more flexible so to allow more confidence when our guests make a booking. A deposit is not required upon booking but only 30 days prior to the start of the trip. Our cancellation policy has also become more lenient. Please see full Terms & Conditions here.
Sampan would like to congratulate our friends and partners working in their communities to help those in most need during this difficult time, particularly Sa Ba Street Food Tours, Uncharted Horizons, and Doh Eain.
Sampan Travel has launched a newsletter specifically for information about traveling through Myanmar during the pandemic. The newsletter focuses on government regulations, requirements and permissions. Sign up by clicking the button below.