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Panama

This information was updated on 21st October 2020

Current situation

After thorough research and preparation, Panama is excited to once again welcome international travelers starting October 12, 2020.

The Ministry of Tourism has worked closely with government authorities including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Work, Labor and Economic Development among other government entities to implement biosecurity protocols that ensure the safety of both travelers and locals as the destination reopens for tourism and business travel. Below, you will find the current protocols travelers need to keep on top of mind if considering traveling to or through Panama.

Prior to travelling - requirements to enter Panama

  • Travellers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken no more than 48 hours prior to their arrival time in Panama.
  • If a test is not possible within that time frame, a COVID-19 rapid test will be mandated at the airport before customs and the traveler will have to cover the costs of said test. (USD$ 50).
  • There are currently no restrictions on entry from any country.
  • Health insurance is not a requirement for entry but is highly recommended
  • We do not recommend the use or carrying of non-essential items onboard such as blankets or pillows in order to minimize the risk of cross-contamination.
  • We encourage all travellers to check travel restrictions from your departure country and country of citizenship.
  • Prior to check-in, all incoming travellers will be required to complete an Electronic Affidavit (sworn statement) agreeing to:
    • Comply with all sanitary control measures outlined by the Ministry of Health of Panama.
    • Provide localization information for residence while in Panama.
    • Confirm that you are healthy (no symptoms of any respiratory illness) and that you have not been exposed to COVID-19 within the last fourteen (14) days.

Filling out your Affidavit step by step:

  1. Start by registering on the Panamá Digital platform HERE.
  2. Select your language preference at the upper right corner (ES/EN = Spanish/English).
  3. Complete the fields of passport and personal information for foreigners or ID for Panamenians and residents. Click on the REGISTER button.
  4. A confirmation message sent by noreply-pruebas@avisos.panamatramita.gob.pa  will arrive at your email which you will access in order to create your password with the following standard:
    – 8 characters or more
    – A minimum of: 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter and 1 number.
    – Special characters are not allowed.
  5. Once your password has been established, access this LINK and select the LOGIN button to start your session at Panamá Digital, using your email and the password created.
  6. After logging in, on the main navigation menu, select TRÁMITES, which will deploy a sub menu where you should select DECLARACIÓN JURADA DE SALUD DE PASAJEROS PARA INGRESAR A PANAMÁ.
  7. Fill out all the information required and then click on ENVIAR.
  8. You will receive a confirmation email with a file containing a QR code.
  9. For the validation at the airport, have your documents and the QR code ready to be shown on your smartphone. It is not necessary to have it printed out.
  10. In case of doubts or problems to fill out the form, please contact Panamá Digital by calling: +507 300 2187 or writing to: info@311.gob.pa

Flights from the UK

The borders opened on the 12th of October. 

All airlines are resuming their flights to Panamá in October and November with the exception of LH which will resume in April 2021.

Plans for reopening other entry points

Regarding to entry ports such as cruise ports and other port operators, we estimate to restart operations during the second semester of 2020. Although our ports are likely to reopen at the end of 2020 as our cruise season starts, it is difficult to estimate since most cruise lines that operate in and have transit through Panama come from the United States or Europe, and there might be further delays in the arrivals and transits of these cruise ships. Considering the effects of this pandemic on the cruise industry in general, we understand that in the USA, most cruise ports and lines have postponed activity until September 2020, but focusing on their domestic markets.

As far as bio-security, health and sanitation standards and requirements, the Panama Tourism Authority has been working with the relevant industry experts to develop the guidelines to be followed, with previous approval of the Ministry of Health Panama (MINSA) and Immigration authorities, to ensure that our protocols meet international standards, keeping the safety and security of international visitors and locals and continuing to develop the tourism sector properly.

What Covid 19-related safety measures can travellers expect?

  • Facemasks will be required in any means of transportation.
  • Wash hands as frequently as possible, especially when:
    • Entering and leaving the public transport.
    • Touching frequently touched surfaces. (handles, handrails, chairs, doors, taps, etc.)
  • Keep distance from other passengers.
  • Cover the mouth and nose with the angle of the arm or with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw it away and wash hands.
  • Do not consume any food or drinks while inside the transportation.
  • Avoid talking to other passengers, the vehicle driver or on a cell phone while in the vehicle. If necessary to speak, do not remove your mask while doing so.
  • Consider the use of natural ventilation while in a taxi cab or similar (open a window).
  • Transportation companies will be:
    • Utilizing masks, performing hand hygiene and maintaining distancing.
    • Implementing mechanisms to monitor strict compliance with these measures.
    • Having a staff to monitor compliance in all areas: waiting areas (terminals, paid areas), upon entry and within transport units.
    • Taking employees temperatures on a daily basis at the beginning of each day.
    • Improving the Ventilation System of waiting rooms and vehicles.

What to expect during your stay in Panama

In Panama:

  • Face masks are required in all public spaces for locals and visitors alike.
  • An increased presence of hand sanitizer stations.
  • Increased usage of electronic payment options.
  • Frequent temperature screenings by businesses and tourism operators.
  • Digital and standing menus and maps accessed via your smartphone (vs. physical copies).
  • Beaches, Gyms, spas, salons, and casinos may operate with appropriate safety protocols in place.
  • Stay within your travel companions (social bubble).

At the hotel:

  • Reception areas will have physical separation barriers such as protective glass or acrylic sheets.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be available in public places, for the use of visitors and/or guests.
  • Lobbies and waiting rooms will be cleaned three (3) times per day.
    Hotel elevators will be cleaned and disinfected every two (2) hours.
  • Everyone must comply with the maximum capacity for elevators.
  • Buffets will not be available, only a la carte in hotel restaurants or room service.
  • Hotel reception lines are available for any questions or concerns regarding health. Hotels will organize transportation to medical centers if needed.
  • All of the measures established by the Ministry of Health have been implemented in children’s play areas, spas, gyms, beauty salons, casinos – ensuring constant cleaning and disinfection of spaces, tools, games, furniture, equipment, machinery, etc.

In restaurants:

  • Restaurants may operate by reservation system in order to avoid crowding.
  • Tables separated by a distance of at least two (2) meters.
  • Individual packages for salt, pepper, shakers, and sauces.
  • Standing menu and/or digital menus accessible via smartphone or disposable menus.
  • Buffets will not be available.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at tables or in higher circulation areas.
  • All restaurants have had protocols validated by MINSA and have reopened as of September 28th.

When doing tours and visiting attractions: 

  • Restaurants may operate by reservation system in order to avoid crowding.
  • Tables separated by a distance of at least two (2) meters.
  • Individual packages for salt, pepper, shakers, and sauces.
  • Standing menu and/or digital menus accessible via smartphone or disposable menus.
  • Buffets will not be available.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at tables or in higher circulation areas.
  • All restaurants have had protocols validated by MINSA and have reopened as of September 28th.

Panama Destination Update - 11th August 2020

Contact details

Eugenia Powell – Sales Director PROMTUR epowell@visitpanama.com
Luciana Kramer – Sales Manager LEISURE PROMTUR lkramer@visitpanama.com
Tatiana Ângulo – Sales Manager MICE PROMTUR tangulo@visitpanama.com