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Myanmar extends travel ban, curfews to contain virus spread

A Chinese tourist wears a protective face mask while visiting the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, February 2, 2020. Myanmar government suspended on-arrival visas for Chinese tourists on February 1, 2020. Photo: AFP Forum via Nurphoto/ Shwe Paw Mya Tin. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NAY PYI TAW, Jun 28, 2020, Bloomberg. Myanmar is imposing a 15-day extension of its virus measures and directives until July 15 to prevent the spread of the pandemic from inbound travelers and within the country, Bloomberg reported.

The restrictions include a temporary suspension of international flights, a ban on issuing all visas and visa-exemption services, as well as a three-week quarantine for Myanmar nationals returning home by relief flights and across borders, according to a statement Saturday by the Central Committee on Covid-19 Control. On Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the temporary ban on foreigners’ entry will be extended to July 31.

A nightly 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. curfew remains in place, along with the ban of gatherings of more than five people, according to the Central Committee on Covid-19 Control, which is led by de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Exceptions are made for funerals and work-related matters.

United Nations officials, diplomats and foreign nationals who need to enter Myanmar on relief flights or other transport arrangements for urgent meetings and for compelling purposes must obtain exceptions from a Myanmar mission. The committee also asked all visitors to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health and Sports.

As of June 28, Myanmar confirmed 296 cases of coronavirus including 216 recoveries and six casualties, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.

(Updates with foreigner restrictions in 2nd paragraph)

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