YANGON, 27 May 2022: Myanmar has reactivated its e-visa service after two years, but entry and health rules are stringent, while travellers remain hesitant as long as the country is under military junta rule.
However, commercial flights for business travellers resumed in April and airlines based in Southeast Asia serve Yangon mainly from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Myanmar still maintains stringent pandemic protocols that require visitors to show vaccination certification, PCR tests and local medical insurance cover purchased from an authorised insurance company.
Arrivals must be fully vaccinated and present proof of a second Covid dose at least 14 days before arrival. They must also provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 PCR test result not more than 72 hours before departure to Myanmar.
On arrival, all visitors must take a Covid Rapid Antigen Test costing around 15000 ks (USD8). If they return a negative result, they can continue their travel itinerary in Myanmar. If positive, they must be isolated in a designated government hospital or hotel, which is covered by the health insurance they purchased.
Visitors also need to show proof of a return ticket from Myanmar and a hotel booking making the online e-visa application.
Tourism industry leaders are hopeful that reopening the e-visa facility will help revive the tourism sector, but this year will be challenging. The main deterrent to recovery is the dominant traveller perception that visits will generate hard currency spending and that will help to prop up the military junta. Following a military coup on 1 February 2021, the military stands accused of killing thousands of innocent protesters and imprisoning people without fair trials.
Justice for Myanmar claims foreign exchange earnings and investment in tourism projects linked financially to the military junta leaders ultimately fund the purchase of military equipment and weapons used against protestors who are calling for the return of democracy and freedom of speech.