YANGON, 24 March 2020: Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has shut all border checkpoints to foreign visitors in a bid to keep the country Covid-19 free.
The temporary closure remains in place until further notice.
Myanmar has 27 land checkpoints between Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. Some checkpoints are limited to local trade, but the ones valid for international travel have now closed indefinitely.
Earlier in the month, Myanmar closed the border with India at Moreh-Tamu and Zokhawtar-Rikhawdar. Border checkpoints with China in Kachin State and northern Shan State and those with Thailand and Laos have now closed.
This includes the busy Mae Sot-Mae Tao checkpoint in Tak province and the Mae Sai-Tachilek checkpoint in Chiang Rai province. The latter is a popular checkpoint for travellers who need to extend their tourist visas or are changing their status to a year-long work or marriage visa.
Mae Hong Son in the far northwest corner of Thailand bordering Myanmar closed border checkpoints at Banhauiphung, Nampiangdin, Huay Ton Nun, Sao Hin, and Mae Sam Lab used exclusively by local traders.
Myanmar also ended the THB500 day pass service that allowed international visitors to cross the border at Mae Sot or Mae Sai as day-trippers.
Last week, Myanmar suspended visa-on-arrival and eVisa issue for all nationalities until 30 April.
Nationals from countries that have high Covid-19 infection counts or people who visited the countries in the last 14 days must undertake a 14-day quarantine in Myanmar.
The rule applies to visitors from Italy, USA, Switzerland, UK, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Iran, China and South Korea in the past 14 days.
Travellers boarding planes with an itinerary that ends in Myanmar are required to show a medical certificate issued by a medical facility recognised by the health authorities that states they are clear of all symptoms linked to Covid-19.
International travellers visiting Myanmar could face difficulties if their flights home are routed through Thailand or Singapore with a change of plane in the two aviation hubs.
They will not be able to pass through Singapore even as a transit passenger while a stop in Bangkok will require them to have a current (72-hours) medical certificate and insurance value USD100,000 that covers Covid-19.