The Ministry of Health establishes new requirements for entry into the country for persons coming from South America due to New Strain of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health (MINSA), through Executive Decree No. 486 of April 16, 2021 (hereinafter the “Decree”), modifies the measures established in Articles 1, 2 and 3 of Executive Decree No. 260 of March 29, 2021, which establishes measures for the entry into Panama of all persons coming from, who have stayed in or transited through any country in South America, as follows:

      • As of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, April 19, 2021, any person coming from, who has stayed or transited through any South American country during the last fifteen (15) days, must bring a negative PCR or antigen test no later than 48 hours prior to arrival.
      • In addition, upon arrival, a COVID-19 Molecular Test must be performed, at the cost of the traveler, in order to register for immigration. The cost of this test is USD$85.00.
        • If the result is negative, a 3-day isolation at home or in a Covid-19 travelers’ hospital is required. On the third day, the antigen swab test must be repeated, and if the result is negative, the isolation ends. The cost of this test will be covered by the health authority.
        • If the result is positive, PCR-RT test and typing test +ICGES analysis should be performed. In addition, the traveler must comply with a 14-day quarantine in a Covid-19 travelers’ hospital. The cost of this test will be covered by the health authority.
      • As of May 3, 2021, the mandatory 3-day isolation may be carried out in other hotels, duly authorized by the health authority, at the traveler’s expense.
      • This Decree will become effective on April 19, 2021, with the exception of article 4 of this Decree, which will become effective on May 3, 2021.

Comments:

      • These new measures apply to nationals, residents and tourists coming from, having stayed or transited through any South American country during the last fifteen (15) days, regardless of the result of the PCR or antigen test.
      • With these new measures, even when bringing a negative test, any person with characteristics the already indicated is obliged to take a second test at the Airport, in order to enter our country.
      • Likewise, the Decree establishes mandatory isolation for all persons coming from, having stayed in or transited through any South American country, regardless of the result of the PCR or antigen test.
      • Failure to comply with the provisions of this Decree will be sanctioned in accordance with Executive Decree No. 961 of August 18, 2020, as amended by Executive Decree No. 61 of January 8, 2021.