COVID: TEST REQUIREMENTS AND TRAVEL GUIDELINES - LEARN MORE

SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP TO PANAMA

Since October 12th, Panama has reopened its borders to international travelers, keeping the safety and health of both tourists and locals our top priority.

Visitors from most countries are welcome to visit Panama, however, a negative COVID-19 test is required for entry. For more information on entry requirements as well as per country restrictions, please refer to the “Prior to Traveling” section.

As of January 14th, 2021, new mobility restrictions are in place as well as mandatory curfew at night time. Please refer to the “Getting Around” section for more information. Beaches are currently open for visitors during mobility hours, however other attractions are closed, with scheduled reopening throughout February and March. For more details, refer to the “What to Do" section.

Last updated on January 14, 2021.
Protocols will be updated on an as-needed basis.


  • Travelers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken no more than 48 hours prior to their arrival time in Panama.
  • If a test is not possible within that time frame, a COVID-19 rapid test will be mandated at the airport before customs and the traveler will have to cover the costs of said test. (USD$ 50).
  • As of December 21, Panama has temporarily suspended the entrance of people who have originated or transited from the UK or South Africa within the past 20 days.
  • Health insurance is not a requirement for entry but is highly recommended
  • We do not recommend the use or carrying of non-essential items onboard such as blankets or pillows in order to minimize the risk of cross-contamination.
  • We encourage all travelers to check travel restrictions from your departure country and country of citizenship.
  • Prior to check-in, all incoming travelers will be required to complete an Electronic Affidavit (sworn statement) agreeing to:
    • Comply with all sanitary control measures outlined by the Ministry of Health of Panama.
    • Provide localization information for residence while in Panama.
    • Confirm that you are healthy (no symptoms of any respiratory illness) and that you have not been exposed to COVID-19 within the last fourteen (14) days.

Filling out your Affidavit step by step:

  • Start by registering on the Panamá Digital platform HERE.

  • Select your language preference at the upper right corner (ES/EN = Spanish/English).

  • Complete the fields of passport and personal information for foreigners or ID for Panamenians and residents. Click on the REGISTER button.

  • A confirmation message sent by noreply-pruebas@avisos.panamatramita.gob.pa will arrive at your email. Which you will access in order to create your password with the following standard:
    - 8 characters or more
    - A minimum of: 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter and 1 number.
    - Special characters are not allowed.

  • Once your password has been established, access https://www.panamadigital.gob.pa/Login and select the LOG IN button to start your session at Panamá Digital, using your email and the password created.

  • After logging in, on the main navigation menu, select TRÁMITES, which will deploy a sub menu where you should select DECLARACIÓN JURADA DE SALUD DE PASAJEROS PARA INGRESAR A PANAMÁ.

  • Fill out all the information required and then click on ENVIAR.

  • You will receive a confirmation email with a file containing a QR code.

  • For the validation at the airport, have your documents and the QR code ready to be shown on your smartphone. It is not necessary to have it printed out.


  • Passengers that fail to follow protocols may not enter the country or may be sanctioned according to Panamanian laws.
  • Surgical face masks are always required except for:
    • Momentary removal for identification purposes in security checkpoints, immigration, etc. always respecting the social distancing of 2 meters.
    • Infants aged two or younger.
    • Passengers with a different illness other than COVID-19 that prevents breathing with a mask.

Note: In the case of people with an illness other than COVID-19 which prevents them from breathing with the surgical mask, they must use a face shield and a medical certificate must be presented indicating the illness they suffer from and the medical recommendation that they should not use such personal protective equipment.

Face masks need to be in optimal condition and must be worn properly. Wet, dirty, or damaged masks must be replaced as soon as possible.

  • Passengers should maintain physical distance, a minimum of two (2) meters in the airport facilities.
  • If a passenger’s COVID-19 test was taken more than 48 hours before arriving at the airport, they will be mandated to take a rapid COVID-19 test at the airport before customs and the traveler will have to cover the costs of said test.
    • If the test results are positive, the Panamanian government will facilitate a hotel stay at no cost to the traveler for a mandatory quarantine period.
  • Passengers are subject to temperature screening upon entering the airport.
  • If exhibiting an elevated body temperature or any COVID-19 related symptoms, travelers will be subject to a rapid COVID-19 test at the traveler’s expense and/or additional health screening, in order to take the necessary precautions.
    • Passengers will remain isolated until results have been obtained.
    • If results come back positive, the passenger will be placed under quarantine for in a hotel designated by the Ministry of Health. Upon seven (7) days, an antigen rapid test will be taken. If results are negative the quarantine will end. If results are positive the visitor will remain in quarantine until tested negative. .
  • The Ministry of Health can perform random rapid testing at any time.
  • The same requirements as set forth above shall be applicable to visitors who arrive on private flights.

STARTING JANUARY 14TH, 2021 YOU CAN EXPECT THE FOLLOWING MOBILITY RESTRICTIONS:

  • A nationwide curfew is in effect monday through friday from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Additional movement and business restrictions vary by region as follow:
    • Panama and Panama Oeste Provinces
      • Starting January 15th from Fridays at 9:00 p.m. through Mondays at 4:00 a.m. - Stay at home order (full lockdown) with no mobility on the weekends.
      • Gender restrictions for shopping:
        • Women: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
        • Men: Tuesdays and Thursdays
    • Coclé, Veraguas and Los Santos Provinces
      • From January 15th at 9:00 p.m. until Monday January 18th at 4:00 a.m. - Stay at home order (full lockdown)
      • Businesses will remain open until 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with no gender restrictions.
    • Herrera Province
      • Starting January 15th - Stay at home order (full lockdown) will be in effect.
      • All non-essential businesses will be closed and there will be movement restrictions based on gender.
        • Women: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
        • Men: Tuesdays and Thursdays
      • Starting January 15th from Friday at 9:00 p.m. through Mondays at 4:00 a.m. - Stay at home order (full lockdown) with no mobility on the weekends.
  • Internal displacement within the country will be restricted. Expect checkpoints in strategic locations such as Chepo; El Lago (Capira); La Chorrera; Divisa in Central Provinces; La Villa in Los Santos; Chagres in Colón and Viguí in Veraguas.
    • International tourists arriving in Panama who need to transfer to their lodging accommodations outside of Panama City or during curfew hours will be able to do so as long as they provide valid airline ticket information and hotel reservations.
    • Travel agents, tour operators, and travel guides who are hosting international travelers will be allowed to provide transfers during curfew hours. They must have an authorization form from their employer as well as the airline tickets and times of arrival or departure of the tourists they are transferring.

SAFETY GUIDELINES ON PUBLIC AND PRIVATE TRANSPORT

  • Facemasks will be required in any means of transportation.
  • Wash hands as frequently as possible, especially when:
    • Entering and leaving the public transport.
    • Touching frequently touched surfaces. (handles, handrails, chairs, doors, taps, etc.)
  • Keep distance from other passengers.
  • Cover the mouth and nose with the angle of the arm or with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw it away and wash hands.
  • Do not consume any food or drinks while inside the transportation.
  • Avoid talking to other passengers, the vehicle driver or on a cell phone while in the vehicle. If necessary to speak, do not remove your mask while doing so.
  • Consider the use of natural ventilation while in a taxi cab or similar (open a window).

Transportation companies will be:

  • Utilizing masks, performing hand hygiene and maintaining distancing.
  • Implementing mechanisms to monitor strict compliance with these measures.
  • Having a staff to monitor compliance in all areas: waiting areas (terminals, paid areas), upon entry and within transport units.
  • Taking employees temperatures on a daily basis at the beginning of each day.
  • Improving the Ventilation System of waiting rooms and vehicles.

  • Face masks are required in all public spaces for locals and visitors alike.
  • An increased presence of hand sanitizer stations.
  • Increased usage of electronic payment options.
  • Frequent temperature screenings by businesses and tourism operators.
  • Digital and standing menus and maps accessed via your smartphone (vs. physical copies).
  • Stay within your travel companions (social bubble).

  • Reception areas will have physical separation barriers such as protective glass or acrylic sheets.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be available in public places, for the use of visitors and/or guests.
  • Lobbies and waiting rooms will be cleaned three (3) times per day.
    Hotel elevators will be cleaned and disinfected every two (2) hours.
  • Everyone must comply with the maximum capacity for elevators.
  • Buffets will not be available, only a la carte in hotel restaurants or room service.
  • Hotel reception lines are available for any questions or concerns regarding health. Hotels will organize transportation to medical centers if needed.
  • All of the measures established by the Ministry of Health have been implemented in children's play areas, spas, gyms, beauty salons, casinos - ensuring constant cleaning and disinfection of spaces, tools, games, furniture, equipment, machinery, etc.

The government has announced a gradual reopening plan for attractions and activities. Dates are subject to change depending on health conditions:

  • AS OF JANUARY 14TH
    • Beaches, rivers, pools (in social areas as well as hotels) and parks are open for visitors only during mobility hours.
    • Outdoor exercise and activities are permitted during mobility hours as long as they’re contactless and abiding to social distancing guidelines.
    • Restaurants can only operate via delivery and pick-up.
    • Stores can only operate via online and delivery.
  • ON FEBRUARY 1ST
    • Stores, beauty salons, barber shops and daycare centers will reopen for clients.
  • ON FEBRUARY 15TH
    • Carwashes, tailor shops, shoe repair shops, non-essential industries, cultural industries, and restaurants will reopen for clients.
  • ON MARCH 1ST
    • Gyms, spas, fishing, race tracks will reopen for visitors.
  • ON MARCH 15TH
    • Movie Theatres and Casinos will reopen for visitors.

RESTAURANTS

  • Restaurants may operate by reservation system in order to avoid crowding.
  • Tables separated by a distance of at least two (2) meters.
  • Individual packages for salt, pepper, shakers, and sauces.
  • Standing menu and/or digital menus accessible via smartphone or disposable menus.
  • Buffets will not be available.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at tables or in higher circulation areas.
  • All restaurants have had protocols validated by MINSA and have reopened as of September 28th.

TOURS AND ATTRACTIONS

  • Reduced capacity (50%) for shared ground transportation vehicles.
  • Event spaces are limited to 30% capacity and four (4) people per table.
  • Marina capacity limited to 25%.
  • Digital maps should be accessed via smartphones.
  • Golf courses will be open (no use of rakes, removing flags, or shared carts).
  • Touristic activities, cultural and creative attractions, libraries, movies and theaters, casinos and others will be enforcing the safety protocols and may be operating with lower capacity and restricted schedules.

  • Face masks are required at all times (except for momentary removal for identification purposes in security checkpoints, immigration, etc.).
  • Temperature screening upon entering the airport.
  • Expect sanitizing mats when entering Tocumen International Airport to disinfect shoes and luggage wheels.
  • We encourage all travelers to check travel restrictions of your destination country and airport.

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