Two nationwide general strikes have been announced, the first beginning at 7AM on November 16 and ending at 7AM on November 17, and the second planned for November 20. The U.S. Embassy anticipates that extensive road closures will pose significant disruptions to the commutes and daily routines of many Embassy employees. In light of these potential disruptions and corresponding safety concerns, all U.S. Embassy staff have been advised to assess the impact of the strike and roadblocks on their daily activities and to coordinate work arrangements with their supervisors.
Given the situation, routine consular appointments have been cancelled for November 16, 17, and 20, and cancellation notifications have been sent out. This includes the cancellation of Social Security walk-in services for tomorrow, November 16. Emergency services for U.S. citizens will continue.
U.S. Embassy employees living in affected areas of Panama City have been advised to avoid demonstrations, limit movements, and stay indoors as conditions warrant. The U.S. Embassy continues to restrict mission personnel from traveling to Colón due to protest activity. Existing travel restrictions to parts of the Darien and Mosquito Gulf still apply.
U.S. Embassy personnel continue to be advised to reconsider intercity travel due to ongoing disruptions, unauthorized “tolls” on intercity roadways, and reports of food and fuel shortages in some provinces of Panama.
U.S. citizens should be reminded that Panamanian National Police have used tear gas and other riot control measures to disperse demonstrations, including when demonstrators have blocked roadways or clashed with the police.
The U.S. Embassy will send out further alerts when there is a change to the current situation.
Actions to Take:
- Avoid demonstrations.
- Exercise caution when traveling.
- Monitor local media for updates.
- Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
- Contact local authorities (dial 911) for any immediate health or safety concerns.
- Register for STEP (link below) and refer to our website for the latest alerts and messages for U.S. citizens.
State Department – Consular Affairs
+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates