On April 19, 2020, Myanmar’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population announced a nationwide inspection of factories and workshops from April 20 to 30 to ensure safety and hygiene standards specified by the Ministry of Health and Sports in their notification issued on March 19. Only those that meet the standards will be allowed to continue operating during the COVID-19 outbreak. The inspection will be conducted consecutively at the following categories of factories and workshops:
- Pharmaceutical factories;
- Food manufacturing factories;
- Factories and workshops with more than 1,000 workers;
- Factories, workshops and establishments that have already been found to be in compliance with the hygiene measures and are qualified to operate; and
- Other factories, workshops, and establishments that will be prescribed from time to time.
The inspections follow an announcement by the Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS), on April 16, imposing restrictions on gatherings and movements of large numbers of people pursuant to Section 21/b of the Prevention and Control of Communicable Disease Law 1995. The announcement requires people to wear masks in public and restricts gatherings of more than five people at one place with the following exceptions:
- Visiting or returning to a government office
- Working at a company or a factory
- Shopping at a supermarket within county boundaries, limited to one person and a driver per household per visit
- Authorized transportation
- Judiciary related matters
- Activities of authorized COVID-19 prevention groups
- Emergency rescue teams
- Visiting a clinic or hospital for illness, limited to two people and a driver per household per visit
Failure to comply with the announcement is punishable by imprisonment or a fine under the Communicable Disease Prevention Act.
On April 19, Myanmar also imposed a nighttime curfew in the Yangon, Mandalay, Ayeyarwaddy and Sagaing administrative regions. Some townships have also issued their own, stricter requirements, and companies with operations in Myanmar are advised to check whether their operations are affected by more restrictive local measures.