The U.S. Embassy is compiling a list of people seeking to leave Panama. Any U.S. citizen in Panama requesting assistance should click here to fill the form.
View the U.S. Embassy in Panama’s most recent Alerts & Messages
- On March 30, the Panamanian Ministry of Health announced 1075 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Panama.
- Panama enacted nationwide movement restrictions, also referred to as quarantine, effective March 25, 2020. Decree 504 established that people who break health regulations and quarantines could be fined between $50,000 to $100,000.
- The movement restrictions include windows of time for people to grocery shop, get medicines, and take care of other essential activities based on the last digit of their national ID cards for Panamanians and passports or diplomatic ID for foreign nationals. U.S. Citizens in Panama should carry their passports at all times and only move for grocery-meds shopping.
- All international and domestic commercial passenger flights have been suspended. There are exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies,medical evacuation, and government aircraft flights. Any U.S. Citizens remaining in Panama should be prepared to remain indefinitely.
- A presidential decree ordered the closure of non-essential businesses. Only markets, supermarkets, drug stores, gas stations, among other exceptions, will be able to operate, effective March 24.
- Schools and universities are closed nation-wide until April 7. 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 domestic and international travel and must adhere to the national quarantine.
- Travelers are advised to take common-sense precautions like washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rubs. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands, and encourage people around you to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
Details on Movement Restrictions:
The windows available for completing shopping for groceries and medicines, or treating medical emergencies, are as follows:
- Last number is 7 – 6:30 – 8:30am
- Last number is 8 – 7:30 – 9:30am
- Last number is 9 – 8:30 – 10:30am
- Last number is 0 – 9:30 – 11:30am
- Last number is 1 – 12:30 – 2:30pm
- Last number is 2 – 1:30 – 3:30pm
- Last number is 3 – 2:30 – 4:30pm
- Last number is 4 – 3:30 – 5:30pm
- Last number is 5 – 4:30 – 6:30pm
- Last number is 6 – 5:30 – 7:30pm
- There is a special window for those over 60 years old, regardless of cedula or passport numbers, between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.
Even with these time allowances, during the nationwide movement restrictions, the Embassy encourages everyone to prepare accordingly. Take the opportunity to stock up on any medicines and food supplies you may need to shelter in place in your homes for an extended period of time.
Possible Repatriation Flights:
There are three U.S. military air flights scheduled for April 2 and 4 with a limited number of seats available; we are in the process of notifying individuals who have already expressed interest in being evacuated from Panama about these flights.
- April 2, departing Panama Pacifico at 9:05 p.m. and arriving Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, FL, to arrive 1:15 a.m. April 3.
- April 4, departing Panama Pacifico at 11:00 a.m. and arriving Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, VA, to arrive at 6:00 p.m.
- April 4, departing Panama Pacifico at 4:53 p.m. and arriving Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, TX, to arrive 8:43 p.m.
Requirements, restrictions, and helpful information:
- The flights are restricted to U.S. citizens and LPRs. All passengers must be in possession of a valid U.S. passport or I-551 (green card) in order to qualify for a flight.
- Availability will be based upon first-come-first-served basis and will require a financial commitment in the form of a repatriation loan for the State Department calculated one-way fare to the destination of the aircraft, which is NOT negotiable.
- Please note these flights will arrive at U.S. military installations and you will be responsible for coordinating your onward travel, including transit from the base to a commercial airport. The closest major airport near Fort Walton Beach, FL is New Orleans, LA; and the nearest to San Angelo, TX is San Antonio, TX.
- If you are ill, you will not be permitted to fly. Prior to departure from Panama and upon arrival to the United States you will undergo a temperature screening.
- All passengers must sign a promissory note to ensure payment of the required fare.
- Baggage is restricted to two bags that cannot exceed 70lbs. total.
- Service animals MAY be authorized on the April 2 flight. Please be sure to share your needs as appropriate.
- You may bring limited liquids and snacks.
Additional Department of Defense flights are projected through April 9, with limited seating. The Embassy will continue researching additional military and civilian commercial options.
Please express your interest in consideration for potential evacuation flights by clicking here and filling the form.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- As of March 22, Panama suspended all international commercial flights in and out of Panama.
- The U.S. Embassy is compiling a list of people seeking to leave Panama. Any U.S. citizen in Panama requesting assistance should click here to fill the form.
- On Thursday, March 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory.
- As of March 13, all cruise ship passengers are banned from disembarking in Panama.
- 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 quarantine 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.
- 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)
- The Department of State has issued a Global Level 3 Health Advisory for COVID-19.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice
- COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
- CDC page on COVID-19
- state.gov Country Information and Travel Advisory page
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.