On October 26, the State Department changed its Travel Advisory for Panama from Level 4: Do Not Travel to Level 3: Reconsider Travel. The Embassy advises all U.S. citizens to read the full travel advisory at travel.state.gov or on the Embassy webpage at pa.usembassy.gov.
The decision to change the Travel Advisory reflects several recent developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Panama. On October 12, Panama resumed international commercial passenger air travel. U.S. citizens and other travelers may now enter Panama with a negative COVID-19 test, conducted within 48 hours prior to arrival. U.S. citizens who test positive for COVID-19 after arrival in Panama will be required to observe a 14-day quarantine. Those who do not have a residence in Panama will be quarantined in a hotel-hospital under the supervision of the Ministry of Health. You can find the details on these entry requirements at the Embassy’s COVID-19 page.
Some hotels, restaurants, and other business are now open at reduced capacity across Panama with mandatory health precautions in place. When considering whether to travel, remember that COVID-19 remains a serious health threat in Panama and that the mandatory health guidelines must be followed, including mask-wearing and social distancing at all times in public, and temperature checks at the entrance to restaurants, shops, and businesses. Citizens not adhering to these health precautions may face legal consequences.
Please bear in mind that while the Embassy’s American Citizen Services Unit is open, its hours and appointment schedule, as well as its ability to assist U.S. citizens outside Panama City, remain limited due to COVID-19.
Please read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
Do not travel to:
- Parts of the Mosquito Gulf due to crime.
- Parts of the Darien Region due to crime.
If you decide to travel to Panama:
- See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Panama.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
- Do Not Travel to Parts of the “Mosquito Gulf” – Do not travel within 10 miles of the coastline, between Boca de Rio Chiriqui to Cocle del Norte. Drug trafficking and other illicit activities occur in this area. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in this region as U.S. government personnel must obtain prior approval before traveling there and face additional restrictions before such travel is approved.
- Do Not Travel to Parts of the Parts of the Darien Region – All areas south of Jacque to Manene to Yaviza to Lajas Blancas cities to the Colombian border; the city of Lajas Blancas, and the city of El Salto. Criminal elements and drug and human trafficking networks operate in these areas. Police presence and emergency response are extremely limited. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these regions as U.S. government personnel must obtain prior approval before traveling there and face additional restrictions before such travel is approved.
Consult the Embassy’s website (https://pa.usembassy.gov/) for additional information on the situation in Panama and the Department of State’s COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
State Department – Consular Affairs
+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates.
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