Health Alert:  U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (January 12, 2021)

Event:  Updated Regional and Nationwide COVID-19 Restrictions in Panama 

On January 12, the Government of Panama announced updated regional and national COVID-19 restrictions beginning January 14.  

Starting January 14, a nationwide curfew is in effect Monday through Friday from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.  Additional movement and business restrictions vary by region.  

Panama and Panama Oeste:  Starting January 14, movement restrictions based on passport or cedula number are eliminated.  However, gender restrictions for shopping remain in place (Men:  Tuesdays and Thursdays; Women: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays).  Weekends are full lockdown, from Fridays at 9 p.m. until Monday at 4 a.m.  Work-related gatherings are limited to 25 people or 25% capacity.  For a list of permitted activities, see slides six and seven of the Ministry of Health’s informational presentation here. 

Cocle, Veraguas, and Los Santos:  A full lockdown is in effect from 9 p.m., January 15 until 4 a.m., January 17.  Businesses will remain open until 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with no gender restrictions.  

Herrera:  Starting January 14, shopping will be restricted by gender (Men:  Tuesdays and Thursdays; Women:  Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays).  Beginning January 15, weekends will be full lockdown, from Fridays at 9 p.m. until Monday at 4 a.m. 

The government also announced a gradual reopening plan that is subject to change depending on health conditions: 

  • February 1:  retail, beauty parlors, barber shops, daycare centers 
  • February 15:  carwashes, tailor shops, shoe repair shops, non-essential industries, cultural industries, restaurants 
  • March 1:  gyms, spas, lotteries, fishing, race tracks  
  • March 15:  beaches, movie theaters 

On December 28, the Government of Panama announced new regional and nationwide restrictions lasting until January 14.  Starting January 4, these include a return to movement restrictions based on gender and ID number in the provinces of Panama and Panama Oeste. 

Movement and shopping restrictions: 

  • From January 4 to 14, a total quarantine and curfew are in effect from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. for the provinces of Panama and Panama Oeste.  Businesses will close at 7:30 p.m.  All non-essential businesses will be closed.   For the rest of Panama, the curfew remains from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. 

From January 4 to January 14, gender restrictions in Panama and Panama Oeste provinces allow for movement as follows: 

  • Women:  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 
  • Men:  Tuesday and Thursday  

Additionally, in Panama and Panama Oeste, movements are restricted to a two-hour window based on the last digit of each individual’s cedula number or passport number if an individual is not a citizen of Panama.   During their corresponding two-hour window, individuals are allowed one hour for travel (30 minutes each way) and one hour for shopping.  U.S. Citizens in Panama should always carry their passports, and their Panamanian cedula if they have one.  The two-hour windows are as follows: 

  • Last number is 7 – 6:30 – 8:30 a.m. 
  • Last number is 8 – 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. 
  • Last number is 9 – 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. 
  • Last number is 0 – 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. 
  • Last number is 1 – 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. 
  • Last number is 2 – 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. 
  • Last number is 3 – 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. 
  • Last number is 4 – 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. 
  • Last number is 5 – 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. 
  • Last number is 6 – 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. 

There is a special window for the handicapped and those over 60 years old, regardless of cedula or passport numbers, between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (gender restrictions still apply).  One caretaker (regardless of their gender) may accompany these individuals.  

Normal exceptions apply for holders of permission letters (salvoconductos). 

Hours of circulation during the total quarantine are intended only for essential purchases by one person per household.  The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Panama that it is always obligatory to comply with local laws.   

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 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. 

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.  For all the details about changes made by the Government of Panama in response to the pandemic, please see the daily announcements from the Ministry of Health.   

Actions to Take: 

Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.     


U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama
Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue
Clayton, Panama
+507 317-5000  

State Department – Consular Affairs
+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444 

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