- Myanmar will lift its two-year ban on foreign tourists on April 17
- Visitors will have to be fully vaccinated, take two PCR tests and quarantine for a week
- The nation's tourism industry took a hit from the pandemic and violence around the junta's takeover
Myanmar will resume international passenger flights from April 17, the military said on Saturday, lifting a two-year ban on foreign tourists.
Reopening & resuming the economy
The South-East Asian nation closed its borders to visitors in March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in an attempt to prevent rising infections.
Myanmar was further isolated after a coup last year saw huge protests and a bloody military crackdown on dissent, sending its economy — including its tourism industry — into freefall.
"We will open all international flights on 17 April, and can fly as regularly," said the National Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease, citing falling COVID-19 infections.
In a statement, it said the decision was "in order to improve the tourism business sector, and in order to have smooth trip for visitors who come to visit Myanmar".
Visitors will be required to quarantine for a week — undergoing two PCR tests — and must be fully vaccinated, according to the Health Ministry.
Pandemic, coup paralyse tourism
Myanmar's tourism industry was battered by the pandemic, with the country registering 40,000 daily COVID-19 cases at its peak last year. It has recorded almost 20,000 deaths in total.
Spiralling violence following the junta's takeover has also dented business, with many international firms pulling out of the nation.
More than 1,600 people have been killed by security forces and more than 11,000 people arrested since the coup, according to a local monitoring group.