Foreign travel advice

Myanmar (Burma)

Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel

It is illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holidays. Follow current COVID-19 rules where you live: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In England, you must have a permitted reason to travel abroad and complete the declaration form.

Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new social distancing rules with little warning. Check our advice for each country you will visit or transit through.

When you return, follow the rules to enter the UK from abroad (except from Ireland).

Summary

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to Myanmar, based on recent political events and the current assessment of the COVID-19 risk.

The FCDO advises British nationals in Myanmar to leave the country by commercial means as soon as possible. This change in the level of advice follows a significant increase in violence on 27 March. Some staff and dependents in the British Embassy have been temporarily withdrawn. The Embassy will continue to carry out essential work, including providing 24/7 consular assistance and support to British people in Myanmar.

If you’re planning to return to the UK from Myanmar, see the Return to the UK section for information on flights and what you’ll need to do to meet UK entry rules before you leave. There are still commercial means available to return to the UK, but these may decrease further. Flight connections to the UK can be affected at short notice by COVID-19 restrictions being imposed on countries through which you may need to transit. It is no longer possible to transit to the UK through Qatar or UAE as direct flights from these destinations to the UK are prohibited. Further delay in leaving Myanmar could increase your risk of needing to enter managed hotel quarantine when arriving in the UK which would be at your own expense.

As of 1 February 2021, the Myanmar military declared a state of emergency and assumed control. Politicians, members of civil society and some foreign nationals have been detained by the military. Political tension and unrest are widespread since the takeover and levels of violence have risen. The military has ordered a nightly internet shutdown, various internet platforms have been blocked and reports of disruptions to wider internet and phone networks are widespread. Access to money has become increasingly difficult with banks shut and some ATMs not working. A nationwide curfew is in place between 8pm and 4am until further notice, local wards may unexpectedly change curfew times, we advise you keep yourself up to date in your local area. If you are not able to leave Myanmar at this time, you are advised to stay home and stay safe. If you need to leave home for essential reasons, you should do so quickly, avoiding crowds.

If you’re in Myanmar and you need consular assistance, call one of the following numbers:

  • +95 (0)1 370863
  • +95 (0)1 370864
  • +95 (0)1 370865
  • +95 (0)1 370867

There may be disruptions to local phone networks. If you are unable to get through to the Embassy on any of these numbers, call +44 020 7008 1500. Please note that this is an international number and you may be charged a different rate. During the current crisis we are also asking British Nationals to email us their details so that we are aware of their presence in Myanmar. Please email Yangon.Consular@fcdo.gov.uk. Please also email the Embassy when you have left the country, advising the mission of your departure.

The military have extended the suspension of normal commercial passenger flights until 31 May 2021. However, the airport is open and some ‘relief’ flights are available for those seeking to leave Myanmar. Most of these are commercially bookable. Please note the airport can be very hot so have plenty of water with you. Wi-Fi is also not good so it is recommended that you complete all paperwork before you go to the airport. See Flights for more information on options for leaving Myanmar. Land borders are closed.

The Visa Application Centre in Yangon is temporarily closed. Those British Nationals looking to return to the UK urgently with close family members (spouses and children) who require a visa to enter the UK, should contact YangonBritfamilyvisas@fcdo.gov.uk for initial advice. See Return to the UK

If you wish to return to the UK from Myanmar, you should check what you need to do before leaving to meet UK entry requirements. Please be aware of current UK entry requirements. To enter the UK, you are currently required to:

  • complete a passenger locator form (it is advisable to do this before you get to the airport in Yangon) ; and
  • provide proof of a negative coronavirus test.

You are normally required to show proof of a negative coronavirus test to your airline before being allowed to board. However, as of 21 February, you do not need to take a test if you began your journey to the UK from Myanmar. The present situation in Myanmar means that it is not reasonable to seek to obtain a pre-departure coronavirus test in that country before departure to the UK. The guidance will be reviewed regularly. Sign up to get an email alert whenever this page is updated. Passengers travelling to the UK can request a letter from the British Embassy Yangon, outlining the UK position on pre-departure coronavirus tests. Please send full details of name, passport number and confirmed flight details to Yangon.Consular@fcdo.gov.uk with ‘Pre-departure Test Letter Request’ in the subject line. Please do not send any attachments.

Entry to Myanmar is subject to entry restrictions

The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to Myanmar. If you are considering travelling to Myanmar, or planning to re-enter Myanmar, you should note the following entry restrictions for 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.
  • Arrivals must comply with Myanmar’s COVID-19 quarantine requirements.

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel, and find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. You should check that your insurance is still valid. Some travel insurance companies link the validity of their insurance to changes in FCDO travel advice, and recent changes to that advice may have affected your policy. See the FCDO guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

Take particular care in the border areas with China, Thailand, Bangladesh, India and Laos. The security situation in border areas is often volatile. Border areas have been particularly affected by military activity, ethnic militias, armed drug smugglers and the presence of landmines. There is ongoing conflict in the north of Shan State, Southern Chin, Kachin, Karen/Kayin and northern and central Rakhine states. In these areas, travellers should be prepared for a high armed, military and police presence including passing through checkpoints. There remains the possibility of violent clashes in other border areas. See Border areas

Political tension and unrest is widespread since the military takeover. Martial law is now in place in six townships in Yangon: Hlaing Tharyar, Shwepyithar, Dagon Myothit (North), Dagon Myothit (South), Dagon Myothit (Seikkan) and North Okkalapa. In these areas, ignoring military instructions, or ignoring the rules around gatherings of five people or ignoring the curfew could lead to lengthy prison sentences.

You should avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings. Potential protest locations may include Sule Pagoda/City Hall, Hledan Junction/Insein, Myanmar Central Bank/Myanmar Plaza, (sometimes Embassies and UN offices) and often at Government offices, but you are advised that protests may spring up unexpectedly in other locations. Do not take photographs or videos of the police, demonstrations, military installations or military personnel. There is an increased security presence in Naypyitaw, Yangon and other areas. Protests may disrupt traffic and public transport, commercial activity and you should follow the news for your area, and avoid large crowds. See Political situation

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Myanmar. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities. See Terrorism

UK health authorities have classified Myanmar as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Urban areas, particularly Yangon and Mandalay, can experience poor air quality. See Health

The banking sector is seeing widespread disruption with many banks closed and ATMs empty. Electronic payments continue to function within the country. See Money

If you need to contact local emergency services, call 199 for police, 192 for medical assistance and 191 for the fire service. You should be aware that phone operators may not speak English. Tourist Police outposts are available in Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay with English speaking officers. You can only visit these posts in person and they are not contactable by phone. Their services may be affected by COVID-19 measures.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. We continue to operate a consular service. However, the ability of the British Embassy to provide face-to-face assistance within Myanmar is currently extremely limited, and the majority of Yangon is currently under a stay at home order. Consular support is also difficult in parts of Myanmar where embassy officials need travel permission from the Myanmar government. Permission is not guaranteed, so the British Embassy’s ability to deliver consular assistance, including in an emergency, may be restricted or delayed in these areas. If you’re arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the British Embassy immediately.

If you’re resident in Myanmar or planning to stay for a longer period, you can find advice on our Living in Myanmar guide.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.