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Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 29, 2020)
May 29, 2020

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (May 29, 2020)

Event:  COVID-19 Situation – Starting June 1 Quarantine Ends and Curfew Begins

Starting June 1, the quarantine with movement restrictions will end.  The quarantine and two-hour movement windows will be replaced by a curfew from 7 pm to 5 am, Monday through Sunday.  Children will also be free to move about from 4 pm to 7 pm, accompanied by a parent, guardian, or caretaker.  The use of masks and social distancing will still be 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.

Also on June 1, the second economic block will be allowed to open.  The sectors included in that block are: public construction, mining of non-metals, industry, and religious sites, parks, social areas, and sporting areas will be allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity.

On May 28, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 12,131 cases of COVID-19.

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.

On May 15, the Government of Panama extended the suspension of international commercial passenger flights for an additional 30 days until June 22.  The previous exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies, medical evacuation, and vaccines remain in place.

On May 11, the Government of Panama announced a gradual plan to reopen the economy beginning May 13.  For details, see the infographic in this tweet from MINSA or go to the Embassy’s COVID-19 information page (see link below).  The date for opening additional business blocks remains unknown.

On April 21, the Municipal Council of the City of Panama passed a new decree stating that anyone leaving their residence must be wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth.  Panamanian National Police and Municipal Police will enforce the decree which extends throughout the metropolitan area of Panama City.

The Embassy is working on evacuation options via commercial humanitarian and military flights for those U.S. Citizens wishing to depart Panama.  Please express your interest in consideration for potential evacuation flights by emailing:  PanamaCityUSCitizen@state.gov.

On March 26, Panama announced the nationwide suspension of commercial passenger and domestic charter flights, in addition to the March 22 ban on international commercial passenger flights.  There are exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies, medical evacuation, and vaccines.

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

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 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.  Visit the website of the Panamanian Ministry of Health (in Spanish) for the most up to date information on these 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 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 3 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice.

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

Messages to U.S. citizens with updates on repatriation flights are sent daily to citizens living in Panama while the Embassy is assisting with approved flights from Panama to the United States.  Messages providing updated COVID-19 case numbers and information about the measures taken to combat COVID-19 in Panama will now be sent once per week, unless there are significant changes requiring immediate updates.

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