The government postponed the lifting of several lockdown measures, including an international flight ban, until June 30. While restaurants re-open and domestic flights resume, the coronavirus may still be imported into the country from foreign visitors, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Restrictions on public gatherings will also remain in effect until at least June 30. This is the second time the government has pushed back the re-opening date, which had been originally set for June 1. Some diplomatic visas are exempt from the travel ban, but they must produce proof of good health from a local physician and are subject to a quarantine upon arrival in Myanmar.
Officially, Myanmar seems to have avoided a severe outbreak of COVID-19, with, at the time of writing, 263 confirmed cases. However the number of unreported cases, especially in poor and rural areas without access to testing, may be higher. Myanmar’s economy seems to have taken the hardest blow, especially tourism. Although bars, tea shops and restaurants are allowed to open (with certain restrictions) most of Myanmar’s hotels and resorts remain shuttered. This month, the government announced a three-phase program to rebuild its tourism sector, which includes financing for businesses in the sector and cooperating with Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam to draw visitors from these countries. Yet the delay of the re-opening date shows that little is certain when it comes to the pandemic and Myanmar’s economic outlook.