Some good news!
Yesterday, August 25, Panama announced an updated schedule to reopen the country.
Starting September 7th and over the next few weeks, many of the Covid-19 movement restrictions will be removed.
This reopening will culminate in the opening up the airport for international on October 12th.
Additional economic sectors will also be opening up. However, the plan will only proceed if the COVID-19 pandemic in Panama continues to improve.
Below, are the details of Panama’s newly updated Reopening Plan, which begins September 7, 2020.
The New Reopening Plan
Here is the schedule of the updated reopening plan.
- September 7 – Panama will reopen the construction industry and related activities such as engineers, architects, project managers, contractors, moving and hauling services. They will also open free zones such as the Panama Pacific Special Economic Area and the Colon Free Zone, as well as tailors, dressmakers, shoe stores, and car washes.
- September 14 – the mobility restriction will be lifted, but a curfew from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am will be required – (Update: exceptions for 3 provinces)
- September 21 – sports activities will be reopened, but without spectators.
- September 28 – domestic flights can resume, retail stores open with in-person shopping, restaurants will open with in-person dining (no restrictions mentioned), family activities on the beach, rivers and natural parks are allowed, professional services, administrative and general services will open, and racetracks can resume, but without spectators.
- October 12 – the curfew will be lifted! Plus some other important items, as follows.
- International flights can resume
- Hotels, motels, hostels, lodging of all types, tourist activities, non-essential transport (recreational and tourist) reopen
- Creative and cultural services, music and art academies, and libraries can reopen
- Swimming pools can open
- The National Lottery will resume
The reopening is conditional upon whether the following 4 factors continue to be met:
- RT of 1 or less than 1%
- Mortality from Covid-19 of less than 3%
- Availability of hospital beds is at 20%
- Availability of ICU and UCRE beds are at 15%
Still To Be Determined
There are some details of the updated reopening plan that have not been announced.
- Panama has not yet announced when the following type of venues and events will be open or possible:
- Parades, fairs, large events, concerts
- Bars and discos
- No word on what the entry requirements will be for people coming into Panama.
As you read above, currently upon entry to Panama you are required to have a recent negative Covid-19 test result and do 14-day quarantine.
As you can imagine, hotels and the tourist industry have been clamoring for the government to drop the 14-day quarantine requirement. Those interests are lobbying for only a Covid-19 antigen test to be required. However, the government has not announced what the requirements will be.
Regardless, if you are planning to move to Panama, you should start getting your visa paperwork ready. I have information on my site about visas and how to get them.
If you are planning a trip to visit Panama, you might want to hold off on buying a plane ticket until we know if a 14-day quarantine will be required.
I will update this information when the government announces new regulations.
The fabulous news is that Covid-19 is getting under control. Hopefully, life will get back to more-or-less normal soon.
Find out what the current Covid-19 situation and related restrictions are by reading this post.