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Panama

This information was updated on 25th May 2021.

Current situation

Visitors from all countries are welcome to visit Panama, however, a negative COVID-19 test is required for entry.

All incoming travellers arriving from or that have transited through from South America, India, South Africa or the United Kingdom in the last 15 days will be required to take an additional COVID-19 test upon arrival and quarantine for 3 days. For more information on these restrictions, click here.

Currently, mobility restrictions are in place as well as mandatory curfew at night time.

A nationwide curfew is in effect monday through sunday from 12:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. Additional movement restrictions vary by region as followed:

    • Chiriqui and Veraguas Provinces
      • Daily curfew will be in effect monday through saturday from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.
      • Stay at home order (full lockdown) with no mobility on sundays, from saturdays at 10:00 p.m. through mondays at 4:00 a.m.
    • Cocle Province (Anton, Penonome and La Pintada Districts)
      • Daily curfew will be in effect monday through sunday from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.
  • International tourists arriving in Panama who need to transfer to their lodging accommodations outside of Panama City or during curfew hours will be able to do so as long as they provide valid airline ticket information and hotel reservations.
    • Travel agents, tour operators, and travel guides who are hosting international travelers will be allowed to provide transfers during curfew hours. They must have an authorization form from their employer as well as the airline tickets and times of arrival or departure of the tourists they are transferring.

Prior to travelling - requirements to enter Panama

ALL incoming travelers arriving from South America, India, South Africa or the United Kingdom OR that have transited through any of these countries in the last 15 days:

  • Will be required to take an additional, mandatory molecular COVID-19 test upon arrival at Tocumen International Airport before customs. The traveller will have to cover the costs of said test (USD $85).
      • If the results are positive, the traveller will be placed under a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a Hotel Hospital designated by the Ministry of Health free of charge OR at home, if a Panama citizen or resident.
      • If the results are negative, the passenger will be placed under a mandatory 3-day quarantine. The passenger will have to complete this quarantine in:
        • A hotel designated by the Ministry of Health free of charge.
        • An authorized hotel of their choosing with a reservation prior to arrival, that they will have to present in printed version upon entry. The traveler will have to cover the costs of said stay. Authorized Hotels:
        • At home, if a Panama citizen or resident.
      • At the end of the 3-day period another test will be taken.
        • If the results are negative, the quarentine period will be over.
        • If the results are positive, the passenger will be placed under a 14-day quarantine in a Hotel Hospital designated by the Ministry of Health free of charge.

HEALTH AFFIDAVIT

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.
  • To register and fill out your Health Affidavit, CLICK HERE
    • For a Step-By-Step Guide on how to fill out your Health Affidavit, CLICK HERE
RECOMMENDATIONS
  • 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 travelers to check travel restrictions from your departure country and country of citizenship.

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?

Passengers that fail to follow protocols may not enter the country or may be sanctioned according to Panamanian laws.

Surgical face masks are always required except for:

  • Momentary removal for identification purposes in security checkpoints, immigration, etc. always respecting the social distancing of 2 meters.
  • Infants aged two or younger.
  • Passengers with a different illness other than COVID-19 that prevents breathing with a mask.
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Note: In the case of people with an illness other than COVID-19 which prevents them from breathing with the surgical mask, they must use a face shield and a medical certificate must be presented indicating the illness they suffer from and the medical recommendation that they should not use such personal protective equipment.

Face masks need to be in optimal condition and must be worn properly. Wet, dirty, or damaged masks must be replaced as soon as possible.

  • Passengers should maintain physical distance, a minimum of two (2) meters in the airport facilities.
  • Passengers are subject to temperature screening upon entering the airport.
  • If exhibiting an elevated body temperature or any COVID-19 related symptoms, travelers will be subject to a rapid COVID-19 test at the traveler’s expense and/or additional health screening, in order to take the necessary precautions.
    • Passengers will remain isolated until results have been obtained.
    • If results come back positive, the passenger will be placed under a 14-day quarantine in a hotel designated by the Ministry of Health.
  • The Ministry of Health can perform random rapid testing at any time.
  • The same requirements as set forth above shall be applicable to visitors who arrive on private flights.

 

UPON DEPARTURE:

COVID-19 Testing is available for Departing Passengers from Tocumen International Airport.

  • The center is open from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
  • The cost of the COVID-19 rapid test is $50.00 USD and the result takes around 40 minutes.
  • The service is first come first serve, so we encourage all passengers that want to get tested to arrive with enough time before their flight.
  • Face masks are required at all times (except for momentary removal for identification purposes in security checkpoints, immigration, etc.).
  • Temperature screening upon entering the airport.
  • Expect sanitizing mats when entering Tocumen International Airport to disinfect shoes and luggage wheels.
  • We encourage all travelers to check travel restrictions of your destination country and airport.
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What to expect during your stay in Panama

The government has announced a gradual reopening plan for attractions and activities. Dates are subject to change depending on health conditions.

CURRENTLY:

  • Beaches, rivers, pools (in social areas as well as hotels) and parks are open for visitors only during mobility hours.
    • In the provinces of Panamá, Panamá Oeste, Coclé, Veraguas, Los Santos and Herrera, beaches are only open from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Outdoor exercise and activities are permitted during mobility hours as long as they’re contactless and abiding to social distancing guidelines.
  • Restaurants are open for clients. Please find more information on restaurante safety measures below.
  • Stores, beauty salons, barber shops and daycare centers are open for clients.
  • Carwashes, tailor shops, shoe repair shops, non-essential industries, cultural industries, and restaurants are open for clients.
  • Gyms, spas, movie theaters and casinos are are open for clients.

Accommodation:

  • 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.

Tours and visiting attractions:

  • Reduced capacity (50%) for shared ground transportation vehicles.
  • Event spaces are limited to 30% capacity and four (4) people per table.
  • Marina capacity limited to 25%.
  • Digital maps should be accessed via smartphones.
  • Golf courses will be open (no use of rakes, removing flags, or shared carts).
  • Touristic activities, cultural and creative attractions, libraries, movies and theaters, casinos and others will be enforcing the safety protocols and may be operating with lower capacity and restricted schedules.
 

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