- Reviewed: 17 March 2021, 15:40 NZDT
- Still current at: 13 May 2021
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We currently advise that all New Zealanders do not travel overseas at this time due to the outbreak of COVID-19, associated health risks and widespread travel restrictions.
The global situation remains complex and rapidly changing. International travel can be complicated with fewer international flights available and disruptions to transit routes and hubs. Any destination could experience a sudden increase in cases of COVID-19 and a heightened risk to travellers of contracting the virus. Strict health measures and movement restrictions could be imposed suddenly. Should you decide to travel despite our advice, be prepared to remain overseas longer than you intended. You should also be aware that your travel insurance may not cover travel disruption or medical expenses.
Managed Isolation and Quarantine in New Zealand
All travellers to New Zealand must undertake 14 days of government-provided managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ). Detailed information about MIQ requirements in New Zealand can be found at www.miq.govt.nz.
Pre-departure testing requirements for travellers to New Zealand
All travellers to New Zealand (excluding those from Antarctica, Australia and most Pacific Islands) must show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result before departure. Detailed information about pre-departure testing requirements can be found on the Unite Against Covid-19 website here.
We recognise that some New Zealanders do continue to live and travel overseas. We continue to provide destination-specific advice about other safety and security risks below.View Larger Map Close/Open map
We have information about the current security situation in Myanmar here.
Due to the increasing suspension of airlinks and unprecedented operational pressures, New Zealand has temporarily withdrawn staff from its Embassy in Myanmar. Full consular services in country are unavailable until further notice.
New Zealanders who require emergency consular assistance should contact the 24/7 Consular emergency line on +64 99 20 20 20 or the Yangon embassy personnel on +95 9 269 810 965 or Yangon.Office@mfat.govt.nz
Civil unrest/political tensions
On 1 February 2021 the Myanmar military assumed control and declared a state of emergency. There have been large scale peaceful protests in Yangon and across Myanmar with an increased and violent security response. Figures in the Civilian Government, civil society and foreign nationals have been detained and there is a risk of further detentions. There have been ongoing disruptions to internet platforms (including social media), as well as wider internet and telecommunication networks. ATMs and public health services may also be disrupted. Night time curfews and bans on public gatherings have been imposed across the country. Martial law is now in place in some parts of Yangon. Expect an increased security presence country-wide.
Unless they have a need to remain in Myanmar, we advise New Zealanders to depart via commercial means. Only a limited number of commercial flights are still available. People wishing to depart should contact airlines and travel agents directly to arrange travel.
New Zealanders who are not able to leave Myanmar at this time are advised to remain cautious, stay at home and minimise unnecessary movement. New Zealanders should avoid any demonstrations or public gatherings, as injuries and fatalities have occurred. New Zealanders should ensure they have sufficient essential supplies including food, water and cash to sustain themselves for a prolonged period should they need to shelter in place. We provide further advice about contingency planning to New Zealanders overseas here.
We also recommend complying with any instructions issued by the local authorities, including any curfews. It is also important to keep your family and friends informed of your well-being. Monitor the media for any developments that may affect the security situation.
Attacks by armed groups on police outposts in northern Rakhine state in late August 2017 were followed by large-scale security operations that have seen civilians killed, villages burned and more than 700,000 people displaced across the border into Bangladesh. Tensions remain in Northern Rakhine State and further intercommunal violence is likely. Curfews and restrictions on movement may be imposed at short notice, in addition to those already in place, including to tourist destinations due to security concerns.
In the past, there has been politically-motivated violence on or around public holidays such as Armed Forces Day (27 March) and Martyrs Day (19 July). Significant anniversaries, such as the 8 August 1988 uprising and the September 2007 protests, may be accompanied by an increased security presence in Yangon and elsewhere.
Myanmar has experienced prolonged internal conflicts involving a number of ethnic and non-state armed groups. Most of these groups have signed bilateral ceasefire agreements with the government, and a number of groups, mainly those located along the Thai border, signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement in October 2015.
Since the 1 February 2021 military coup the security situation in all ethnicborder states remains volatile and unpredictable. Active armed conflict between ethnic groups and military forces in Paletwa township in southern Chin State has been experienced since February 2019.
There are sporadic outbreaks of armed violence between government forces, ethnic armed groups, and militias in Karen, Kachin and Shan. In November 2019, mis-directed rocket fire landed in civilian areas and on the runway at Lashio airport. There is an ongoing threat from improvised explosive devices and unmarked landmines in conflict areas. In November 2019, a foreign tourist was killed by a landmine while travelling outside of Hsipaw township in Northern Shan State.
Active fighting between government forces and a local ethnic armed group in Rakhine State continues. These clashes sometimes result in the death or injury of civilians, security forces, and non-state armed fighters. In December 2019 three small explosions took place on Manaung Island in Rakhine State, coinciding with a high level government visit to the area. There are no reports of casualties.
There is a risk of kidnapping in or nearby conflict areas. In October 2019, ethnic armed groups kidnapped travellers on a public bus in Mrauk-U and on a public ferry in Ratheduang, resulting in civilian casualties. Foreigners were also caught up in an abduction between Paletwa (Chin State) and Kyauktaw (Rakhine State) in November 2019.
Small scale bombings in November 2016 targeted government buildings and supermarkets in Yangon, resulting in several fatalities. Further small-scale bombings targeted public places in Rakhine, Shan and Kachin States, which have resulted in injuries and sometimes death. Further incidents cannot be ruled out. New Zealanders in Myanmar are advised to be security conscious in public and crowded places.
There are a limited number of legal land crossing points into Myanmar, and these are subject to closure without notice. Permission to cross these borders may be required in advance through a separate process to a visa application. Travel restrictions placed by the Myanmar government apply for most border areas. We advise New Zealanders against attempting to cross any border illegally or enter restricted areas without the appropriate permission from Myanmar authorities.
General travel advice
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social/cultural traditions in Myanmar to avoid offending local sensitivities and potentially breaking the law. Shorts and sleeveless tops will cause offence when visiting Buddhist religious sites. It is illegal to preach or hand out religious material without written approval or ‘insult religion’ including mistreating images of Buddha.
We advise against taking photographs of any protests, demonstrations or government or military installations, as this could result in arrest and/or detention. This includes the use of drones.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty.
Travellers visiting Myanmar have experienced difficulties accessing their money. Myanmar remains a predominantly cash-based society and although credit and debit cards are increasingly accepted in major tourist areas some cards do not work.
New Zealanders travelling to Myanmar are advised to check with their bank before travelling to confirm that your debit, credit or ATM cards will allow them to withdraw cash or make payments in Myanmar. You should take enough cash (US dollars in pristine condition) to last throughout the duration of your stay in Myanmar.
Myanmar does not recognise dual nationality. This limits your access to New Zealand consular assistance. Travellers should read our advice on dual citizenship here.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Myanmar should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders in Myanmar are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The New Zealand Embassy Yangon, Myanmar
Street Address No. 43 (C), Inya Myaing Road, Shwe Taung Kyar (2) Ward, Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar Telephone +95 1 230 6046 Alternate Telephone +95 1 230 5805 Fax +95 1 230 5805 Email Yangon.Office@mfat.govt.nz Web Site www.mfat.govt.nz/myanmar Hours Mon-Fri 0830-1230, 1330-1630 hrs Consular - legal and Notarial service: by appointment, Monday to Friday
See our regional advice for South East Asia
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New Zealand Embassy Myanmar
No. 43 (C), Inya Myaing Road, Shwe Taung Kyar (2) Ward, Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar
Telephone: +95 1 230 6046
Alternate Telephone: +95 1 230 5805
Fax: +95 1 230 5805
Hours: Mon-Fri 0830-1230, 1330-1630 hrs Consular - legal and Notarial service: by appointment, Monday to Friday