COVID-19 Panama Information

COVID19 Panama Information

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Any U.S. citizen in Panama requesting travel assistance to return to the United States should send an email to PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov

View the U.S. Embassy in Panama’s most recent Alerts & Messages
  • On October 28, the Panamanian Ministry of Health confirmed 131,247 cases of COVID-19 in Panama.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Panama due to COVID-19.  The State Department has also issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for Panama. Read the Health Notice and Travel Advisory.
  • On October 12 Panama resumed commercial aviation.  See the Entry and Exit Requirements section for more details. 
  • Beginning Saturday, October 24, families will be allowed to gather in groups of seven or fewer at beaches and rivers.  Activities at beaches and rivers will only be permitted from 6:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  Masks must be worn at all times, except when within your family bubble or when entering the water.  Drinking alcohol at beaches and rivers is prohibited except at restaurants nearby. 
  • The following remain pending and do not have a foreseen date for reopening: schools, colleges, universities, day care, kindergartens, gyms, indoor play areas for children, bars, clubs, conferences, concerts, fairs, carnival, parades, and processions.
  • MINSA reminds citizens and residents of Panama that staying at home, not touching your face, and washing your hands frequently are the best means of prevention against COVID-19.  It also requires the use of masks, even homemade ones, when in public.
  • On June 2, the Government of Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) published a resolution stating that anyone leaving their residence must be wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth. Any individual not wearing a mask is subject to possible detention and fine.
  • Movement restrictions are in place across the country. These restrictions vary by province. Please scroll down on this page to the section Movement Restrictions for more information.
  • MINSA is also declaring health cordons in areas that have higher incidence of infection. For more information, contact MINSA (see local resources below).
  • MINSA called on the entire population, especially those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate blood. Contact a local hospital or blood donation center if you’re interested and willing to participate.
  • Schools and universities are closed for in-person classes nation-wide until further notice. Festivals, and all gatherings larger than 50 people, as well as public spaces and venues, have been banned. Visit the local government COVID-19 website for updated information.
  • U.S. government personnel are restricted from non-essential international travel and must adhere to quarantine and curfew restrictions.

 

 


 

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes 
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes 
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes 

On October 12, the Government of Panama permitted international commercial flights to resume services to and from Panama.

Entry Requirements:

  • The Government of Panama requires a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or Antigen) within 48 hours prior to traveling to Panama.
  • If you do not have a test, or the test was done more than 48 hours before traveling to Panama, you will be required to take a test at the airport at your expense ($50.00).
  • If you test positive, you will be required to quarantine at a designated hotel.  After seven days you will be tested again; if you test negative you will be allowed to leave, otherwise, you must remain in quarantine for 14 days or until you test negative.
  • See the Embassy of Panama in Washington D.C. for more information about current entry requirements.
  • As of March 13, all cruise ship passengers are banned from disembarking in Panama.

Exit Requirements:

  • Upon entering the airport your temperature will be taken. 
  • Any U.S. citizen in Panama requesting travel assistance to return to the United States should send an email to PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov 

 


 

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? Yes 
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No

Movement Restrictions: 

Beginning Sunday, October 25, all weekend quarantines are lifted, and curfew hours are standardized for the whole country, from 11:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m., Monday through Sunday. Until then, the following restrictions still apply:
 
  • Curfew for most provinces in Panama is from Monday through Friday starting at 11:00 p.m and is lifted at 5:00 a.m. the next day, with total quarantine from Saturday at 11:00 p.m. until Monday at 5:00 a.m. 
  • The provinces of Chiriqui and Colon and the districts of Chiriqui Grande, Isla Colon, Changuinola and Almirante in Bocas del Toro have curfew from Monday through Friday, 7:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m., with quarantine from Saturday at 7:00 p.m. until Monday at 5:00 a.m.  
  • In the rest of Bocas del Toro the curfew is from 7:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m., Monday through Thursday, with a weekend quarantine from Friday at 7:00 p.m. until Monday at 5:00 a.m.   
  • Anyone leaving their residence must be wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth. Any individual not wearing a mask is subject to possible detention and fine.

The Embassy encourages everyone to prepare accordingly.  Maintain adequate supplies of food and medicine and be prepared to shelter in place as directed by local authorities. 

 


 

Quarantine Information:

 

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No
  • International arrivals who test positive at Tocumen will be required to quarantine at a designated hotel.  After seven days you will be tested again; if you test negative you will be allowed to leave, otherwise, you must remain in quarantine for 14 days or until you test negative.
  • The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) requires that ships coming from countries with a confirmed case and with a crew member exhibiting symptoms must notify the ACP at least 30 days before its arrival and of any crew changes within 14 days of arrival. In the event a crew member is a confirmed COVID-19 case, the vessel will not be permitted to transit and must be quarantined for 14 days. Preventative measures for such ships include, but are not limited to:
    • Boarding of vessels by health authorities in order to investigate any cases.
    • Use of personal protective equipment, such as masks.
    • Holding the vessel in quarantine as a precautionary measure

 


 

 

COVID-19 Testing:

 

Testing is available at the following locations:

  • Tocumen International Airport (only for international arrivals), cost: $50.
  • Hospital Nacional, cost: $157.50. Contact at 306-3300, Whatsapp 6949-6124.
  • Hospital Punta Pacifica, cost: $95.00 If you want this done inside your car, without having to leave the car, you can get it in Punta Pacifica drive through. Appointments are done in the following link: https://www.pacificasalud.com/expresscovid. This takes from 24-48 hours.
  • Lab Center is offering home services. Appointments are done through WhatsApp at 6285-7181 and they have 3 modalities of testing, costs: $375 for a result in 1 to 2 hours, $250 for a result in 6 to 8 hours, $150 for results in 24 to 48 hours.
  • Panama Clinic $99.00. Contact at 310-1111.

 


 

 

Transportation Options:

 

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes 
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes 

Masks are required any time you leave your home and that includes when using public transportation.

  • Public Transportation is operating. For information and traveler requirements for the Metro rail system, go to https://www.elmetrodepanama.com. Information on the bus system is available at: https://www.mibus.com.pa. 
  • Non-essential transportation, such as tourism transportation, is also permitted as of October 12. 
  • Due to the resumption of international aviation on October 12, we will no longer send messages to citizens about upcoming humanitarian flights.  If you still wish to evacuate Panama and return to the United States, you should do so by booking a commercial flight through the airline of your choice. 
  • Any U.S. citizen in Panama who is unable to leave Panama via commercial options can request assistance returning to the United States by emailing:  PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov. 

     

      

   

 


 

 

Fines for Non-Compliance:

 

  • Fines are set by the Juez de paz in each jurisdiction and not published in any decrees. The embassy has seen reporting in the media that the fines may range from $100-$1000.

 


 

 

Consular Operations:

 

American Citizen Services

  • We have resumed routine American Citizen Services. Staffing is still reduced due to pandemic precautions, and there will be a limited number of interviews scheduled per week. Please go to our website, https://pa.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/, to schedule your appointment.
  • If you need to request an emergency service, email your request to Panama-ACS@state.gov, and be sure to explain the nature of the emergency in your request.
  • We are assisting U.S. Citizens who wish to vote from Panama. To request or submit your ballot, please follow the instructions on https://pa.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/voting/

Visa Services

  • The United States Embassy in Panama City remains unable to resume routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services at this time. If you have an emergency need for a visa, or you are requesting a H1B, H2B, H4, L or certain J visa categories covered by Presidential Proclamation 10052, email Panama-Visas@state.gov and explain your emergency or why you should qualify for an exemption to the current suspension of services.
  • We are currently scheduling appointments for the following types of non-immigrant visas: students, crew-memebers, journalists, people with extraordinary abilities, artists, athletes, and investors.  B1/B2 visa holders can also renew their visas by mail if they meet the requirements. Complete your application, pay for and schedule your appointment at www.ustraveldocs.com/pa.
  • We are also scheduling immigrant visa interviews for spouses, fiances of U.S. citizens, and diversity visa applicants.  Please contact Panama-IVisas@state.gov if you have questions or need assistance.

 


 

 

Local Resources:

 

  • For updates from the Republic of Panama’s Ministry of Health response and resources on COVID-19, go to (in Spanish): https://yomeinformopma.org/
  • Inquiries about COVID-19 can be directed to: Ministry of Health hotline in Panama (169). Department of Epidemiology Dra. Lourdes Moreno (507-9100).

 


 

 

Other links: