September 15, 2020
Every month since March, Panama has pushed the date to allow international travel into the future another 30 days.
Thankfully, the October 12th date looks unmovable.
This is because Panama’s Covid-19 transmission rates continue to decline.
The October 12th date to allow international travel is part of Panama’s new reopening plan (read about it here).
For the reopening plan to stay on schedule, one of the requirements is that Panama’s COVID transmission rate (Rt) be no greater than 1.
So it is good news that Panama now has an Rt of .85. A rate that has been continually dropping over the last month. As someone who may travel to Panama, you will be relieved to learn that Panama’s Rt of .85 is lower than the Rt in any US state.
Panama’s reopening plan has 3 other Covid-related requirements that must be satisfied for it to continue its rollout. Thankfully, Panama is currently satisfying and looks to continue to satisfy all 3.
Travel Easier To & Within Panama
Panama’s new reopening plan includes scheduled and systematic steps to make it easier to travel to and within Panama.
Plus there is one critical item that makes travel much easier which is not explicitly mentioned in Panama’s reopening plan. That is, the current 14-day quarantine for people entering Panama will no longer be required as of October 12th (see Pre-October Travel, below).
- Sept 5 – COVID test can occur up to 96 hours before travel (it was 48 hrs)
- Sept 14 – No need for salvoconductos (permission to travel) within a province except during curfew hours
- Sept 28 – Domestic flights resume
- Sept 28 – Travel between provinces is permitted (Such travel is permitted now if you need to travel to the province in which you live)
- Oct. 12 – Current requirement for a 14-day quarantine for people entering Panama expires
- Oct. 12 – Hotels, motels, hostels, lodging of all types, tourist activities, and non-essential transport (recreational and tourist) reopen
Pre-October 12th International Travel
Until October 12th, the only people who are allowed to enter Panama are Panama citizens and legal residents. These individuals are currently required to quarantine for 14-days. The decree which requires the 14-day quarantine expires on October 12, 2020. The tourist industry of Panama is working to make sure it stays expired. I have not heard a peep from official sources about its reemergence.