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Travel Advisory for Northern Rakhine State Myanmar

28 January 2020
Violent clashes have taken place in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar, and the security situation is tense. Singaporeans should avoid Buthidaung, Kyauktaw, Maungdaw, Minbya, Mrauk-U, Ponnagyun and Rathedaung townships in northern Rakhine State, and Paletwa township in neighbouring Chin State. Singaporeans should also consider deferring non-essential travel to other parts of Rakhine State, as the security situation is fluid and can deteriorate quickly. Singaporeans are also strongly advised to check the website of the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, which maintains an updated list on specific places where foreigners are not permitted to enter without a travel authorization document by the Myanmar authorities. They should defer non-essential travel to these areas as well.

Singaporeans currently in Rakhine State or travelling to Myanmar are strongly advised to remain vigilant and take all necessary precautions for their personal safety, including monitoring the local news closely and heeding the instructions of the local authorities. They should also purchase comprehensive travel and medical insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.  Singaporeans are advised to stay in touch with family and friends so that they know you are safe. Singaporeans are also strongly encouraged to e-Register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/, so that we can contact you should the need arise. Those in need of urgent consular assistance may contact the Singapore Embassy in Yangon or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24 hours) at:

Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Myanmar

238 Dhamazedi Road, Bahan Township, Yangon
Tel: +95-1-559-001, +95-1-559-916
Duty phone: +95-9-250-863-840
Email: singemb_ygn@mfa.sg

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24 hours)
Tel: 6379 8800, 6379 8855
Email: mfa_duty_officer@mfa.gov.sg

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Ministry of Health (MOH) Public Health Advisory

Please refer to the MOH COVID-19 website for updates on the latest precautionary measures implemented to further reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 to Singapore. These include travel advisories and further restrictions on travellers coming into Singapore. 

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Singaporeans can visit Myanmar for up to 30 days without a visa.  The visa exemption agreement effective since December 2016 applies to Singaporeans entering and leaving Myanmar through Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw International Airports and the sea port checkpoint in Yangon. With effect from 21 March 2020, Myanmar has temporarily suspended the issuance of Visa on Arrival (VOA) and e-visa for all nationalities until 30 April 2020. This applies to Singaporeans who apply for business visas (for 70 days). As visa requirements often change at short notice, we advise you to contact your travel agency, or the Embassy of Myanmar in Singapore for up-to-date information.

COVID-19

Myanmar has suspended all visa-free privileges and issuance of visas. International commercial passenger flights to and from Myanmar have also been suspended until 30 September 2020. Relief flights, all-cargo flights, medical evacuation flights and special flights approved by the Myanmar Department of Civil Aviation are exempted. Myanmar has also closed all land borders to foreign tourists.

Exemptions to the above are as follows:

  1. Accredited and resident diplomats/officials must obtain entry visas through Myanmar Embassies abroad, and provide certification of the absence of COVID-19 infection within 72 hours of travel. 

Singaporeans will not be able to enter Myanmar unless they are in the exempted categories above.

All foreign nationals travelling to Myanmarwillhave to provide evidence of home quarantine in the country of departure for 7 days before departure. Upon arrival in Myanmar, they will be subjected to 7-day facility quarantine, and another 7-day home quarantine. [Note: Diplomats are permitted to serve the full 14 days of quarantine at their residence.] A COVID-19 test will be conducted at the end of the quarantine. According to Myanmar’s National Health Laboratory, the cost of a COVID-19 test is 150,000 kyats for travellers arriving in Myanmar, and 200,000 kyats for travellers departing from Myanmar. Foreign nationals can only proceed with their activities if they are tested negative. If they are tested positive, they will be sent to one of the designated hospitals at the traveller's own expense.

For the latest information on travel restrictions/advisories imposed by Myanmar due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, please visit these websites:

Singaporeans in Myanmar are strongly advised to follow developments closely, including checking in with airlines on flight availability and details. Singaporeans are encouraged to e-register with MFA at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg, and closely follow the Singapore Embassy in Yangon’s Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/SingaporeEmbassyYangon) to receive the latest consular‑related news and updates.

For urgent consular assistance, please contact the following:

Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Myanmar

Address: 238 Dhammazedi Road, Yangon, Myanmar

Tel: +95 9 250 863 840 (24 hours)

Email: singemb_ygn@mfa.sg

URL: https://www.mfa.gov.sg/Yangon

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hour)

Tanglin, Singapore 248163

Tel: +65 6379 8800; +65 6379 8855

Email: mfa_duty_officer@mfa.gov.sg

Embassy of Myanmar in Singapore

Address: 15 St Martin’s Dr

Singapore 257996

Tel: +65 6735 0209

Email: ambassador@mesingapore.org.sg / ambassador@myanmarembassy.sg

There have been reports of a deteriorating security situation arising from the situation in Rakhine State.  In September 2017, the Myanmar Government issued a statement notifying citizens of possible bomb attacks by terrorists against innocent civilians in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon, Mandalay and other big cities. There was also a demonstration in support of the military that took place on 29 October 2017.

There have been several cases reported by foreigners visiting Yangon of offences by taxi drivers including mugging and sexual offences.  Although Myanmar is still a safe country to travel in, travellers may wish to refer to our taxi advisory when travelling around Yangon.

Singaporeans are strongly advised to be vigilant and to take the necessary precautions for their personal safety, including avoiding large crowds and monitoring the local news. They should purchase comprehensive travel and medical insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage. Travellers should stay in touch with their family and friends so that they know you are safe. Singaporeans are strongly advised to e-Register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/

The Singapore Embassy issues Travel, Security and Health Advisories on our website. Please visit the Embassy’s website at www.mfa.gov.sg/yangon for the latest advisories on Myanmar.

Visitors are encouraged to visit the website of the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism at www.tourism.gov.mm for more information, especially on restricted areas.

MONEYCHANGERS INVESTIGATED FOR POSSESSION OF COUNTERFEIT MYANMAR CURRENCY NOTES

 

The Police are investigating a number of moneychangers for their suspected involvement in the possession of counterfeit Myanmar currency notes in the denomination of 10000 kyats.

 

2          On 29 November 2018, the Police received a report that two Singaporeans had been arrested for allegedly using counterfeit kyat notes in Yangon. The Singapore Embassy in Yangon is in direct contact with the arrested Singaporeans and is rendering consular assistance.

 

3          Preliminary investigation revealed that the two Singaporeans obtained the counterfeit kyat notes from a moneychanger in Singapore. A raid was conducted at the said moneychanger and counterfeit 10000 kyat notes with same serial numbers starting with “AG” and “AE” were found. Subsequent raids were conducted at 17 other moneychangers in Singapore between 3 and 4 December 2018 and similar counterfeit kyat notes were found.

 

4          Investigations are ongoing. Anyone in Singapore who is convicted of using counterfeit currency notes can be punished with a term of imprisonment term of up to 20 years, and shall also be liable to a fine. Anyone who is convicted of possessing counterfeit currency notes can be punished with a term of imprisonment of up to 15 years.  

 

5          Anyone in Myanmar knowingly using counterfeit money can be convicted under Section 101 of the Myanmar Central Bank Law, and Section 105 states that those found guilty can be fined or imprisoned for up to 3 years or both. They also commit a crime under section 106 of the Myanmar Central Bank Law if they bring counterfeit currency into the country.

 

6          Members of the public are reminded to be vigilant, and to examine any kyat notes to see if they have serial numbers starting with prefixes “AG” and “AE”. They should also do the following:

 

·        Report to the nearest Neighbourhood Police Centre;

·        If the individual offering the note/s is present, please delay him/her, if possible. Call the Police at '999' immediately;

·        Observe the individual's identifying features, such as gender, race, age, height, build, clothing, distinguishing marks such as tattoo, language/dialect spoken as well as those of his or her 

         companions;

·        Note the vehicle registration number of the individual (if any); and

·        Limit the handling of the suspected note and place it in a protective covering, such as an envelope, to prevent further tampering. Hand it over to the Police immediately.

 

7              Singaporeans in Myanmar who suspect that the Myanmar kyats in their possession are counterfeit should make a police report at the nearest police station. Singaporeans are also advised to purchase kyat only in Myanmar, at licensed money changers. They should always request a receipt when changing money and should retain it for future reference. 

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Tourists visiting Myanmar are only allowed to stay in hotels and not in residential properties (i.e. not allowed to stay with friends/business partners etc.), temples or monasteries. A social visit visa is required if you wish to stay at any other property apart from a hotel. The Social Visit Visa can be applied for at the Myanmar Embassy in Singapore.

It is important to respect religion in Myanmar; failing to do so could lead to an arrest. The following rules should be observed;

  • At religious places, remove footwear. Removal of headwear is not necessary;
  • Avoid wearing revealing clothing. At temples and monasteries, shoulders should be covered and skirts and trousers should be below the knee;
  • Avoid shouting or laughing loudly;
  • Avoid being a nuisance when taking photographs;
  • Treat Buddha images with respect;
  • Tuck away your feet. Don’t point them towards a pagoda or a monk;
  • Do not play loud music in these areas. Note that Buddhist monks are not allowed to listen to music;
  • Do not put Buddha statues or images on the floor or somewhere inappropriate;
  • Do not touch sacred objects with disrespect. Hold them in your right hand, or with both hands;
  • Leave a donation when possible;
  • Show respect to monks, nuns, and novices (even if they are children);
  • Do not offer a handshake with a monk, nun or a novice;
  • Sit at a lower level than a monk and elders;
  • Do not offer food to a monk, nun, or a novice after noon time;
  • A woman should not have any physical contact with a monk.
Myanmar is an earthquake prone country.  It is advisable to read up on what to do in the event of an earthquake.  During the monsoon season from May to November each year, cyclones may cause landfall in Myanmar especially in the coastal areas. Travellers should take the necessary precautions during cyclone alerts and heed the instructions of the local authorities.

Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [13 November 2019]

In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.

Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.

In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities. 

When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.

For those planning to travel, here are some tips:

Before travelling

·  Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.

·  Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.

·  Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.

·  eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.

 

While travelling

·  Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.

·  Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.

·  Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.

·  Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.

In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]

There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas.  These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance.  The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.

MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously.  Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance.  If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request.  It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc.  Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails.  Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately.  Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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