Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (July 15, 2020)

Event:  COVID-19 Situation Report – New Quarantine Measures in Panama and Panama Oeste Provinces and Staggered Work Start Times Nationwide

On July 14, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 48,096 cases of COVID-19.

Beginning July 20, private sector employees are required to enter their places of employment by no later than 8:00am. Public sector employees are required to enter by no later than 9:00am.

Effective July 17, MINSA established new quarantine hours for the Panama and Panama Oeste provinces.  Total quarantine begins on Friday at 7:00pm and ends on Monday at 5:00am.  Movements remain restricted based on gender and ID number.  Gender restrictions allow for movements as follows:

  • Women:  Monday and Wednesday. Friday until 7:00pm.
  • Men:  Tuesday and Thursday.

Movement in the same provinces remains 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.  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 – 8:30am
  • 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 7:00am and 10:00am (gender restrictions still apply).
  • Normal exceptions apply for holders of permission letters (salvoconductos).

Parents may take one child per family outside near their home or in the social areas of their apartment building during the two-hour window of the accompanying parent.

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.

For all other provinces, the quarantine and two-hour movement windows were replaced by a curfew from 7 pm to 5 am, Monday through Sunday.  Children are also free to move about from 4 pm to 7 pm, accompanied by a parent, guardian, or caretaker.  The use of masks and social distancing are still required.  This new flexibility does not permit social group activities, cultural events, festivals, visits to the beach, contact sports, or any other activity that violates social distancing.  The Government of Panama still maintains security checkpoints on the roads and prohibits most interprovincial travel. 

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.

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.

Visit the embassy’s COVID-19 Information page for more information about the conditions in Panama.  For the most up-to-date information about new measures, see MINSA’s website (Spanish).

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