High-Level Travel Advisories Issued for Burma
Multiple Travel Advisories have been updated by the U.S. Department of State for the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, which is commonly known as ‘Burma.’
The Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ Advisories regarding ‘civil unrest and armed conflict’ were published within a State Department Level 2 Travel Advisory updated on October 4, 2019, for the following areas of Burma:
- Buthidaung, Kyauktaw, Maungdaw, Minbya, Mrauk- U, Ponnagyun, and Rathedaung townships in Rakhine State
- Paletwa township in Chin State
- Hpakan, Momauk, Sumprabum, Tanai, and Waingmaw townships in Kachin State
- Hpapun township in Kayin State
- Hseni, Hsipaw, Konkyan, Kutkai, Kyaukme, Laukkaing, Matman, Mongmao, Muse, Namphan, Namtu, Pangsang, and Pangwaun townships in Shan State
Level 3 ‘Reconsider Travel’ Advisories have been issued for:
- Ann and Myebon townships in Rakhine State
- Matupi township in Chin State
- Bhamo, Mansi, and Mogaung townships in Kachin State
- Hopang, Lashio, Mongkaung, Namhsan, and Nanhkan townships in Shan State
Level 2 ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ Travel Advisories were issued due to fighting between the Burmese military and various ethnic armed groups and militia forces in the following areas:
- Northern Shan State
- Parts of Kachin, Rakhine, and the Chin States
- The Naga Self-Administered Zone in the northern Sagaing Region
Furthermore, land mines and unexploded ordnance have injured foreign tourists in conflict-affected areas, and their locations are often not marked or otherwise identifiable.
This is important news since Myanmar received over 3.55 million foreign tourists in 2018, a 3.15 percent increase from 2017, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
Myanmar has a population of about 53 million and is located in Southeast Asia, bordered by India and Bangladesh to its west, Thailand and Laos to its east, and China to its north.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these townships as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to these locations. The primary U.S. Embassy in Burma is located in Rangoon, 110 University Ave, Kamayut Township, Rangoon, Burma.
Previously, on September 25, 2019, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said ‘There have been social media reports of alleged, uncorroborated bomb threats.’
The U.S. Department of State says if you decide to visit Myanmar, please consider the following action items:
- Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners and adjust your plans based on news information.
- Have travel documents up-to-date and easily accessible.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.
Additionally, on August 20, 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said to ensure you are up-to-date on several Vaccinations before visiting Myanmar.
A measles vaccination is important since Myanmar is included in the CDC’s worldwide measles alert, as well as a polio vaccination since the CDC issued a Level 2 Alert on August 21, 2019.
These vaccines and related medications can be found at most travel pharmacies in the USA.
Travel Alerts are published by Vax-Before-Travel.