The U.S. State Department has issued a level 4 ‘do not travel’ for Myanmar (Burma) due to civil unrest and Covid-19. The Burmese military has overthrown and detained the elected government resulting in widespread protests against military rule.
The level 4 warning is the most severe advisory the U.S. State Department issues citing that areas of the country are suffering from armed conflict, civil unrest, protests and demonstrations. On February 14, the State Department authorized the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and their family members from Myanmar.
There have been widespread internet outages reported as well as mobile network outages resulting in reduced communication within the country.
According to the Human Rights Office, more than 400 people have been detained in relation to the coup and journalists are in hiding in fear of being arrested. Those opposing military rule on social media have been issued warrants for trying to ‘undermine the peace and order of the country, the military posted on its Facebook Page.
Travelers are being warned the U.S. has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in towns that are currently in armed conflict with the military.
Three laws have also been removed that protects citizens from being detained or property being search without a court order. Military may detain and search those within the country without reason.
20 Years In Prison For Voicing Opposition
A new law also states that anyone who attempts to or incites hatred of the government or military “by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise,” can face up to 20 years in jail.
The new laws are targeting protestors, demonstrators and journalists. Travelers are encouraged to keep a low profile.
U.S. Citizens Wanting To Leave Should Do So Now
U.S. citizens currently in Burma seeking to depart the country should make their own travel arrangements as soon as possible. According to the U.S. embassy in Burma there are flights available departing this week on MAI and MNA to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Incheon, South Korea.
Heightened Potential For Violence
The U.S. Embassy is warning that Nation-wide protests and demonstrations against military rule are occurring daily. U.S. citizens are being warned that there is a heightened potential for violence, continued telecommunications restrictions, and limited flights out of Burma.
The U.S. Embassy in Rangoon remains open and operational at this time.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories