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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

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >

Overview

Security Status

Avoid all travel.

Security Status Last Updated: 29 March 2021

Latest Travel Alert

Department of Foreign Affairs services and practical supports to all Irish Citizens travelling abroad can be found on dfa.ie/Travel

The Embassy is monitoring recent developments, including the National Unity Government’s announcement of a “people’s defensive war against the military”. This could result in heightened tensions in Yangon and throughout the country. While the Embassy has no knowledge of specific threats, recent explosions and attacks in Yangon, coupled with military responses to these events, present a serious threat to Irish nationals. It is possible these events may increase in frequency and intensity.  Roadblocks and military operations are likely to become more prevalent in Yangon and throughout the country. The Embassy advises citizens to avoid public gatherings and limit their outside activities.  

The current advice to ‘Avoid all travel’ is the highest level issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Irish citizens should not travel to Myanmar and if already there, should leave as soon as it is safe to do so.  Travel to Myanmar is subject to onerous entry restrictions, which are subject to frequent change at short notice. Confirmation should be sought from the relevant Myanmar Embassy or Consulate well in advance of your departure.

As a result of these conditions, if you experience an emergency, the Embassy of Ireland is limited in the assistance it can provide.

COVID-19 is still a significant threat in Myanmar and you should be aware that there are significant obstacles to accessing adequate health care in Myanmar at this time. Medical services in Myanmar are more difficult than usual to obtain, and the Embassy is aware of reports that both public and private hospitals are lacking available beds for COVID-19 positive patients, or for patients seeking other medical care. Oxygen and other supplies needed to treat patients with COVID-19 are in short supply. Medical evacuations to neighbouring countries such as Thailand are not permitted at this time. Please take these factors into account when deciding if it is in your best interest to remain in or travel to Myanmar. As a result of these conditions, if you experience a medical emergency, the Embassy of Ireland is limited in the assistance it can provide. On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar Military detained officials from the elected government and announced a one-year State of Emergency, effectively seizing control of the country’s governance. The situation remains tenuous and unstable.

Department of Foreign Affairs services and practical supports to all Irish Citizens travelling abroad can be found on Travel-dfa.ie

There is a general nationwide curfew imposed between 8pm and 4am (Yangon 10pm to 4am) until further notice. There is a ban in effect at all times against gatherings of more than 5 people in public spaces. Political tension and unrest is widespread since the military takeover with regular large demonstrations against the military rule being held by protestors.

The military has shut down access to various internet platforms and reports of disruptions to wider internet, phone networks and ATMs are widespread across the country. A number of areas in Myanmar are currently under a state of martial law, whilst others have curfews and ‘Stay at Home’ orders in place. Citizens should ensure they are fully aware of local rules and restrictions. The majority of townships in Yangon are currently under a ‘Stay at Home’ order as are many other areas. You should confirm with the local ward administrator if you are unsure whether an area is subject to a ‘Stay at Home’ order. Anyone wishing to travel to or from an area subject to a ‘Stay at Home’ order may need to contact the relevant local authorities to confirm the requirements for travel.

There is increased usage of explosive devices. These explosions to date have targeted locations affiliated with the Myanmar Military, but citizens are reminded to take extra precautions and care, as the threat of being accidentally injured in one of these incidents is possible.

A limited number of airlines, as listed below, are operating relief flights from Myanmar to Seoul, Kuala Lumpar and, less frequently, Dubai.

As these are special flights they will not be available for online booking through the normal channels and, if interested, you should contact the airline through their call centre for exact details on availability and how to book. Tickets need to be purchased at least 6 days in advance. You should also check with the Embassy of the country your relief flight is landing in about their local COVID-19 requirements for entry and transit. The International Association of Travel Agents (IATA) website Travel Centre section also gives a useful indication of the various requirements for each country. (https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php)

You are normally required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to your airline before being allowed to board. COVID-19 testing in Myanmar is limited and sites and availability are subject to change at short notice. We advise that you make contact with your local clinic to get the latest information on testing availability and processing times.

  • Myanmar Airways International - operating relief flights from Yangon to Kuala Lumpur three times per week from 8 February 2021.

Please see this website for more information on how to contact the airline to enquire about these flights: www.maiair.com

  • Myanmar National Airlines - operating relief flights to various destinations.

Please see this website for more information on how to contact the airline to enquire about these flights: www.flymna.com

The situation remains uncertain and could deteriorate quickly. Demonstrations and further civil unrest could occur.

If you are in Myanmar:

  • stay indoors and maintain a low profile
  • avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings
  • monitor local media to stay informed about the evolving situation
  • follow the advice of local authorities

Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, you may contact any EU Member State Embassy for consular services and information.   

The following EU Member States have embassies in Myanmar:

Czech Republic -  www.mzv.cz/yangon;

Denmark - https://myanmar.um.dk/; 

France - www.ambafrance-mm.org;

Germany – https://rangun.diplo.de/mm-en/botschaft/-/1512056;

Italy - www.ambyangon.esteri.it; 

Netherlands - www.netherlandsandyou.nl/your-country-and-the-netherlands/myanmar/about-us/netherlands-embassy-in-yangon.

We have also confirmed with the British Embassy in Yangon that they can provide consular services to affected Irish citizens in Myanmar at this time.

We advise against all non-essential travel to:

  • Rakhine State except the southern townships (administrative areas similar to a borough or county) of Munaung, Thandwe (including the tourist resort of Ngapali) and Gwa
    • Paletwa township in southern Chin State
    • Shan State (North)
    • Kachin State (except the towns of Myitkyina, Bhamo and Putao).

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

Travel to Myanmar

Travel to Myanmar is subject to onerous entry restrictions which are subject to frequent change at short notice. Confirmation should be sought from the relevant Myanmar Embassy or Consulate well in advance of your departure.

As the COVID-19 outbreak remains an evolving situation with many new developments, we recommend that all visitors 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.

The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly advises against any non–essential travel to the region until further notice.

General Travel Advice

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.

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in 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.

Travel to Ireland

Up to date information on travelling to Ireland can be found on gov.ie 

Information on Travel within Europe (EU/EEA) can also be found on Re-open EU.

 

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Political Situation

On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar military detained officials from the elected government and announced a one-year state of emergency, effectively seizing control of the country’s governance.

In the November 2020 election, the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, secured a majority of seats in parliament to lead the government.

The political situation may be volatile and there is always a possibility of civil unrest. You may find your security unexpectedly at risk. Due to high levels of political tension, acts of politically motivated violence may occur at any time. Avoid concentrations of police and security forces, avoid gatherings and remain informed of current issues. Demonstrations and civil unrest are a frequent occurrence following the military takeover of Myanmar.

The situation remains uncertain and could deteriorate quickly. Demonstrations and civil unrest could occur.

If you are in Myanmar:

•            stay indoors and maintain a low profile

•            avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings

•            monitor local media to stay informed about the evolving situation

•            follow the advice of local authorities

Myanmar has suffered from prolonged internal conflicts, involving a number of non-state armed groups from Myanmar’s border areas. Ten Ethnic Armed Groups and the Government have signed a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. Additional armed actors have bilateral ceasefire agreements with the government. However, even where there are ceasefires in place, the possibility of violent clashes remains in some areas of all border states including Shan, Rakhine, Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Karen/Kayin, and Mon. You should review the advice for each state before you visit, and seek advice from a local guide or tour operator where appropriate. There is no formal ceasefire as yet in Kachin State or in northern Shan State’s Kokang Self-Administered Zone.

The political situation remains unsettled outside the central areas. Restrictions on freedom of assembly, movement and the right to form trade unions remain in place following extremely narrow legislative reforms. Restrictions on freedom of speech, movement, religion, and political activity remain, and under current laws criticism of the government can result in imprisonment, detainment and deportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings.

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.

There is an ongoing intense conflict in Rakhine State between the Arakan Army and state forces. We advise against non-essential travel to Rakhine State, except the southern townships (administrative areas similar to a borough or county) of Munaung, Thandwe (including the tourist resort of Ngapali) and Gwa, 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, except the towns of Myitkyina, Bhamo and Putao, 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 15 August 2019, there were a series of coordinated attacks at a number of locations, including Pyin Oo Lwin in Mandalay Region, around 65km by road from Mandalay City, and Naung Cho (also spelled Nawnghkio) in northern Shan State. There were reports of a number of casualties, including civilians. The situation in northern Shan State remains volatile. 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. Do not 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:

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

Driving

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