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 September 24, the Panamanian Ministry of Health confirmed 108,726 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 September 23, the Government of Panama extended the suspension of international commercial passenger flights for an additional 19 days through October 11.  The previous exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies, medical evacuation, and vaccines remain in place. Tocumen International Airport continues to operate as a Humanitarian Mini-Hub. Please scroll down on this page to the section Transportation Options for detailed flight information.
  • On August 25, the Government of Panama announced plans to reduce movement restrictions and open up additional economic sectors, starting on September 7 The plan is conditional upon meeting certain criteria regarding the control of the COVID-19 pandemic in Panama.  For additional details about the plan, visit the website of the Ministry of the Presidency. All businesses that are permitted to reopen must meet health and safety requirements.  Contact MINSA for more details about requirements (see Local Resources below).
  • 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 centre if you’re interested and willing to participate.
  • Schools and universities are closed for in-person classes nation-wide until further notice. Sporting events, 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? No
  • 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 September 23, the Government of Panama extended the suspension of international commercial passenger flights for an additional 19 days through October 11.  The previous exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies, medical evacuation, and vaccines remain in place. Tocumen International Airport continues to operate as a Humanitarian Mini-Hub.

Entry Requirements:

  • Currently the Government of Panama is only allowing Panamanian Citizens and Residents to enter Panama. They are providing limited exceptions for emergencies. If you believe you have an urgent need to enter Panama, contact the nearest Panamanian Embassy or a Consulate.
  • The Government of Panama requires a negative COVID-19 test within 96 hours of your flight into Panama.
  • 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:

  • For information about humanitarian flights out of Panama, see the Transportation Options section of this page.
  • 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: 

  • The curfew is from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am, Monday through Friday, with total quarantine from Saturday at 11:00 pm until Monday at 5:00 am, in all provinces except for Bocas del Toro, Colon, and Chiriqui.
  • In the provinces of Bocas del Toro, Colon, and Chiriqui, total quarantine is from Friday at 7:00 pm until Monday at 5:00 am. There is also a curfew from 7:00 pm until 5:00 am Monday through Thursday. 
  • 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? Yes
  • Arriving international travelers are required to quarantine for 14 days and must provide Panamanian authorities with the address where they will quarantine.
  • 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:

  • 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? No
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes

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

The Embassy has identified two upcoming humanitarian flights with seats available.  Any traveler with the appropriate passport/visa to permit entry into the United States is eligible to purchase a ticket.  Travelers should carefully plan their onward travel as hotel options may be limited.  Once in the United States, all domestic travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the traveler.        

The upcoming humanitarian flights are:     

  • October 2 United Airlines flight UA1856 to Houston, TX, departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 1:25 p.m.   
  • October 9 United Airlines flight UA1856 to Houston, TX, departing Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport at 1:25 p.m.     

Copa Airlines also confirmed that they will offer seats on multiple flights that transit through Panama as part of Panama’s new “Humanitarian Hub”.  Please check directly with Copa for these flight itineraries and availability.       

For additional information about these flights and to make reservations, visit the respective websites of the airlines, Copa or United. Flights that appear to be sold out may have openings due to cancellations. Continue checking directly with the airlines for any openings.      

The Embassy shares information on all confirmed humanitarian flights, but flight reservations and operations are controlled by the airlines themselves.  The Embassy is not involved in flight scheduling.  Due to the frequently-changing travel environment as a result of COVID-19, planned flights may be changed or cancelled.  In such cases, passengers should follow-up directly with the airline to rebook.          

The Embassy encourages U.S. citizens who need assistance getting to their scheduled flight to email the Embassy at PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov.  If you need a salvoconducto, send us your flight confirmation and explain why you will need the salvoconducto.  You may also email this address if you are unable to make the currently scheduled flights but would like to be informed about the next humanitarian flight.  Please be aware that future flights are not guaranteed, and those who choose not to depart on these flights should prepare to remain in Panama indefinitely.          

Consult the Embassy’s website (https://pa.usembassy.gov/) for additional information on the situation in Panama and the Department of State’s COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.    

   

 


 

 

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: