Myanmar extends ban on foreign visitors before elections

Myanmar extends ban on foreign visitors before elections

Supporters of the opposition Union Betterment Party (UBP) ride an oxcart during a campaign in Naypyidaw on Monday, ahead of next month’s elections. (AFP photo)

Myanmar extended a ban on international commercial flights and issuance of all types of visa until the end of November to contain the spread of coronavirus outbreak ahead of the general elections.

The ban on foreigners’ entry through land borders will also be extended for another month, the Ministry of Transport and Communications said in a statement Monday. The extension of curbs, which were due to end Oct 31, were ordered by the National Committee on Covid-19 Control chaired by de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, it said, adding that essential business travellers must seek the Foreign Ministry’s approval and follow health guidelines.

The Department of Civil Aviation also extended a ban on domestic flights by two weeks through Nov 15. Yangon international airport will continue to operate repatriation, relief and cargo flights, it said on Facebook.

Myanmar has locked down most of Yangon province, home to its largest city, to contain a surge in infections but eased a ban on public gatherings on Sunday to allow political parties to campaign before the nations goes to polls on Nov 8.

The stay-at-home order in 74 townships including the whole Yangon region and Rakhine state remains in effect.