Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 24, 2020)
Event: Nationwide Movement Restrictions Beginning March 25, 2020
Panama has enacted nationwide movement restrictions, also being referred to as quarantine, beginning Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 5:01 am.
The movement restrictions will include regular windows of time for people to grocery shop, get medicines, or deal with medical emergencies 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.
The windows available for completing shopping for groceries and medicines, or treating medical emergencies, 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 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.
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 24, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 443 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 further 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.
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.
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.
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-19for 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
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.