Government reduces COVID-19 restrictions

This week, the Ministry of Health and Sports allowed restaurants throughout the country to reopen as it continues to gradually reduce COVID-19 restrictions.

Restaurants in areas with no confirmed COVID-19 cases may open to dine-in customers, provided they follow strict health and safety guidelines. These include masks and face shields for servers and public health inspections for kitchens. Meanwhile, Yangon regional social affairs minister U Naing Ngan Lin told the Myanmar Times factory inspections have also been reduced, indicating that some restrictions in the manufacturing sector may also soon end. On the other hand, restaurants in six Yangon townships may not re-open, and all nightclubs must stay closed. Likewise, Mandalay continues to ban highway buses from other states and regions.

Lockdown measures have slammed the food and beverage, hospitality, transportation and other consumer-facing industries. Yet as street side businesses reopen, Myanmar’s exports and manufacturing industries continue to idle. Virtually all pandemic-affected businesses are being addressed by the government’s possibly USD 2 billion COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan (CERP). The CERP is using a combination of public funds and foreign assistance to provide soft loans to businesses and create additional economic safety nets.

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