MYANMAR COUNTRY BRIEF UPDATE as of JUNE 24TH 2022

A state of emergency remains in place across Myanmar.

The security situation in Myanmar is unpredictable and liable to change without notice. There is significant conflict and violence across many of Myanmar’s states and regions, involving air strikes, artillery bombardments, landmines, and armed clashes. In urban areas, there have been shootings and targeted explosions, although normal city life has resumed in large parts of Yangon. Travelers are able to move freely around the city but should expect daily numerous roadblocks and security checks. Military buildings, vehicles or personnel have previously been attacked. Military barracks, military-linked township wardens, or infrastructure landmarks (e.g., telephone masts) may be possible targets.

If you are in Yangon region, remain vigilant, exercise caution, and seek local advice. You should ensure you are aware of local rules, norms, and restrictions, especially if travelling to townships under martial law. Current townships under martial law are Hlaingthayar, Shwepyithar, North Okkalapa, North Dagon, South Dagon and Dagon Seiken, but these are subject to change.

There is a risk that you could be arbitrarily detained or arrested. The criminal justice process followed in such cases falls below international standards. Myanmar does not recognize dual nationality.

If you are detained attempt to contact the Phoenix Elite Security Services emergency hotline at 09 781 748 711.

We have a team of experienced attorneys that will respond and aid in your release.

The authorities in Myanmar are particularly sensitive to all forms of independent reporting and journalistic activity. Do Not take pictures of government buildings soldiers or military vehicles.

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

The banking sector has seen widespread disruption with many banks closed and most ATMs empty. Electronic payments continue to function within the country, but you should ensure you will be able to make payments in advance. Foreign currency must be converted to Myanmar Kyat with most establishments only accepting local currency.

Myanmar is at 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.

GENERAL

Myanmar (Burma) (Yangon Region) is currently experiencing a military coup.

On February 1, 2021, Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing launched a military coup d’état. The military seized power, deposed the democratically elected government, and detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other key leaders of the ruling NLD party.  The military took power the day the new Parliament, elected in flawed but legitimate elections on November 8, 2020, was scheduled to convene. The military leadership, falsely claiming widespread voter fraud during the elections, immediately declared a military caretaker government and state of emergency. The military regime alleged the coup was legal under the 2008 constitution.

Demonstrations and general strikes followed.  In response, the regime launched a brutal crackdown against the people of Burma, led by many of the same individuals largely responsible for previous abuses, including atrocities against Rohingya. The military has killed peaceful protesters, they have arrested and detained thousands, and there are disturbing reports of security forces using torture and sexual violence against those in detention.  The military has also moved to clamp down on fundamental freedoms and access to information, blocking access to social media sites, including Facebook, which is widely used in the country, and intermittently restricting access to the Internet in an attempt to stop popular protests and prevent reporting on human rights abuses.

The military has levied spurious charges against Aung San Suu Kyi, ostensibly to disqualify her from future office, and has detained multiple high-level advisors within the former NLD government in an apparent pressure campaign to discredit Aung San Suu Kyi and her party.  In the face of brutal and lethal force used by the regime, the people of Burma have continued to make their voices heard and have disrupted the military’s ability to govern through a nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).  Although some business activity has since resumed, the coup has set off a banking and liquidity crisis that represents a significant threat to the broader economy. 

Although Myanmar is reopening the country to international tourists, the security situation in Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan is still serious. There are frequent bombings followed by sporadic, unaimed gunfire by the security forces. Innocent bystanders have been hit by wild or ricocheting rounds. Staying away from government buildings and any military installation is recommended. It is also advisable to avoid large crowds.

COVID-19 Information

Myanmar is still experiencing the "fifth wave" of COVID-19 and was hit hard by the Delta Variant and Omicrom variant.  As of April 2022, Myanmar had reported 611,885 positive cases of COVID-19 and 20,000 deaths related to the disease. All executives are met with a package containing hand-sanitizer, masks (surgical & N95) and an information card with phone numbers of local hospitals that have been vetted for the treatment of foreigners. We strongly recommend that all visiting executives have an International SOS card in case of the need for medical evacuation.

 

All of our employees and Security Drivers are fully vaccinated and have received booster shots. All drivers have first aid training and are CPR certified. All of our vehicles are sanitized regularly and carry first aid kits, masks and hand sanitizer and I am implementing AEDs for our vehicles. All of our drivers conduct route surveys and are familiar with the locations of safe zones and where the clinics are that we feel are most suitable for treating foreign guests. 

Burma has the ability to test for COVID-19 infections domestically.

 

•There is a nationwide curfew in place, from 12:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M.  The government is actively enforcing this curfew. 

 

Yangon:

• Stay-at-home orders that originally went into effect April 25 have been lifted.

• Intra-provincial bus service has resumed but is subject to interruptions caused by conflict.

• All persons leaving their residence must wear a mask (but this requirement is not enforced)

• Health authorities are conducting spot health checks in all 33 Yangon municipal townships, and may order persons suspected of having COVID-19 into quarantine.