Entry into Panama from “High Risk” countries, including the United States (September 13, 2021)
The Government of Panama has recently published a new list of 20 countries designated as “high-risk” for COVID-19, which will go into effect September 16. The list includes the United States, parts of Central and South America, and other countries. The full list is available at the Ministry of Tourism webpage.
Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) requires travelers who cannot show proof of full vaccination and have visited or transited through a high-risk country within 15 days prior to arrival:
- To present a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) result taken within the 72 hours prior to arrival, or to take a test upon arrival. Travelers are responsible for testing costs.
- If the results are negative, the traveler will be required to quarantine for three days. Residents and nationals may quarantine at home while unvaccinated foreign travelers must stay at an authorized quarantine hotel for three days upon arrival, at their own expense. The traveler will also be required to take second test at the end of the three-day quarantine. The list of authorized hotels can be found here; unvaccinated, non-resident travelers are encouraged to make a reservation in advance at a preferred hotel.
- If the results are positive, the traveler will be placed under a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a Hotel Hospital designated by the Ministry of Health. The cost of the stay must be fully covered by the traveler.
Each adult traveler entering Panama must complete and sign an electronic sworn affidavit prior to check-in. Testing information can be uploaded and attached to this affidavit. See the Ministry of Tourism webpage for more information about current entry requirements.
Travelers to Panama from high-risk countries, including the United States, are not required to take a COVID-19 test to enter Panama, nor observe quarantine if they present proof (digitally or physically, from the WHO, FDA, or EMA), of being fully vaccinated.
Each adult traveler entering Panama must complete and sign an electronic sworn affidavit prior to check-in. Vaccine information can be uploaded and attached to this affidavit. See the Ministry of Tourism webpage for more information about current entry requirements.
Children under 12
Unvaccinated children under 12 do not have to take a COVID-19 test or observe quarantine if the adult(s) they traveled with are fully vaccinated.
Nonresident travelers who test positive at any time during their stay in Panama will be transferred directly to a hotel-hospital selected by MINSA for a 14-day quarantine at their own expense. Panamanian citizens and residents may be allowed to complete their quarantines in their homes. All quarantined travelers will be tested again by MINSA at the end of their quarantine period. Please note that the Embassy cannot grant exceptions to Panamanian Government regulations or insist that passengers be retested or discharged from quarantine prior to the end of the required quarantine period. For additional information, please review VisitPanama’s COVID Test Requirements and Travel Guidelines page.
The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Panama that it is always obligatory to comply with local laws.
Testing requirements for in-country travel may vary. Please consult with your transportation or service provider for the latest requirements for your intended destination.
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 when in public.
The Embassy will continue to send messages, as needed, about larger changes that may affect U.S. citizens in Panama. Minor changes, such as new health recommendations or reopening of a new sector of Panama’s economy, will be placed on the Embassy’s COVID-19 Information page.
Actions to Take:
- 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.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Panama.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama
Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue
State Department – Consular Affairs
+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444
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