• Abel Gomez Tomiczek

Traveling to Panama: The New Reopening Plan

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On August 25, Panama announced an updated schedule for the reopening of the country. Starting September 7th and in the coming weeks many of the COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted. The opening of the airport for international flights and entry of tourists to Panama is scheduled for October 12th. Other economic sectors will also open.

Below are the details of Panama's newly updated reopening plan, which starts on September 7th, 2020.

Schedule for the Reopening Plan:

September 7th: Reactivation of the construction industry and related activities (engineers, architects, project managers, contractors, moving and hauling services), Panama-Pacific Special Economic Area, Colon and Free Trade Zones, private marinas and sport fishing, tailors and dressmakers, shoe stores and car washes.

September 21st: Sports activities are reopened but without spectators.

September 28th: Reopening of the following commercial activities: retail, restaurants (and smaller restaurants, called fondas), professional services (that are not open yet), administrative and general services, domestic flights.

October 12th: The restrictions are lifted. Plus some other important points as follows:

  • International flights can resume.

  • Reopening of hotels, motels, hostels, accommodation of all types, tourist activities, non-essential transport (leisure and tourist).

  • Creative and cultural services, music, art academies, and libraries can reopen.

  • Reopening of the swimming pools.

The Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, emphasizes that the reopening plan can only be successfully implemented if the situation in Panama continues to improve due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are some details of the current reopening plan that have not yet been announced.

Panama has not yet announced when the following types of venues and events will be open or possible again:

  • Parades, fairs, big events, concerts.

  • Bars and night clubs.

  • There is no official statement if and which entry conditions will apply from October on for travelers coming to Panama.

Currently you must present a negative COVID-19 PCR-test on entry into Panama and undergo a 14 day quarantine.

Hotels in Panama as well as the tourism industry are pushing for the government to drop the requirement for a 14-day quarantine. These interest groups advocate that only a negative PCR-test must be presented upon entry. However, the government has not yet announced the details of these new requirements.

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