Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 23, 2020)

Location:  Panama

Event:  Expansion of Nationwide Curfew Hours

Effective Tuesday, March 24, The Government of Panama will expand a nationwide curfew from the current times of 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. 

Decree 504 establishes that people who break  health regulations and quarantines will receive fines between $50,000 to $100,000, and this includes sending files to penal authorities in order to protect the population.

The Embassy received notice that Panama may enact nationwide movement restrictions at some point in the near future.  As of now, the movement restrictions are not in effect, and we do not know when it will happen.  However, it could be at any time.  We are working to get more information

The movement restrictions will include regular windows of time for people to grocery shop, get medicines, and take care of other critical activities based on the last digit of their cedula number or passport if an individual does not have a cedula.  For U.S. Citizens in Panama without a cedula, they should carry their passports at all times and only/only move for grocery-meds shopping.  As movement restriction information becomes clearer, the Embassy will provide additional guidance and updates for the U.S. citizen community.

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.

On March 23, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 345 cases of COVID-19.

On March 22, the Panamanian government suspended all commercial flights into and out of Panama for 30 days.

March 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.

On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of U.S. personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak the Peace Corps has reduced/evacuated all Volunteers from Panama.

The government of Panama has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.  Panama has barred admission to individuals who are not citizens or residents.  All incoming travelers are subject to a mandatory 14-day in-home quarantine.  Transiting travelers who do not leave the airport are being permitted to continue their journeys.  Visit the website of the Panamanian Ministry of Health (in Spanish) for additional information on these new measures.

The government of Panama has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.  Schools and universities are closed nation-wide.  Sporting events, festivals, and all gatherings larger than 50 people have been banned.  Visit the local government COVID-19 website for updated information.

Effective March 17, U.S. Embassy Panama has suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information.

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice

 U.S. government personnel are restricted from non-essential domestic and international travel.

Many travelers worldwide have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability.  If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline.

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