The Ministry of Health unifies the requirements for entry into the country for people coming from the United Kingdom, South Africa, India or South America.

The Ministry of Health (hereinafter “MINSA” for its acronym in Spanish) through Executive Decree No. 589 of April 29, 2021 (hereinafter the “Decree”), unifies in a single text the regulations for the entry to Panama for people coming from the United Kingdom, the Republic of South Africa, India or South America as follow:

  • As of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 3, 2021, any person coming from, who has stayed or transited through the United Kingdom, the Republic of South Africa, India or South America, during the last 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. Depending on the result the following measures must be comply.
    • If the test result is negative, the person must complete a 3-day isolation. After this time, the person must retake the PCR or Antigen test. If in this second test the result is (i) negative, the isolation will be concluded and (ii) positive, the person must take a PCR-RT test and typing/analysis test by ICGES and comply a 14-day isolation in a COVID-19 hospital hotel for travelers.
    • If the result is positive, the person must complete a 14-day isolation in a COVID-19 hospital hotel for travelers.
  • The travelers can do their 3-day isolation in (i) their home, if they are nationals or residents in Panama, (ii) a hotel for non- COVID-19 travelers, at the cost of the Government, or (iii) other hotels authorized by the health authority, at the traveler’s expense. To opt to this last option the person must present his reservation in the authorized hotel, prior to boarding.
  • In case of travelers coming from, who have stayed or transited through the United Kingdom, the Republic of South Africa, India or South America, during the last 15 days and turn out to be contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the transport used to arrive in Panama, the following proceed must be follow:
    • If the person is in Panama, a self-isolation for 3 days must be complied with a follow-up by telephone.
    • If the person is no longer in Panama, the National Focal Point, of the country of destination, must be notified.
  • The health authority reserves the right to carry out the Molecular test at random, to any travelers who entry to Panama, which will be at the traveler’s expenses.
  • This Decree will become effect at May 3, 2021.

Comments.

  • Previously, people coming from the United Kingdom and South Africa, had to do an isolation in a hospital hotel, regardless of the results of the COVID-19 test that was taken in the airport. Now, the test results are taking into consideration to establish the time and place of the isolation.
  • Previously, if the people coming from the United Kingdom and South Africa, had stayed or transited in the last 20 days through any of these countries, they had to follow the quarantine measures. Now, the time has been reduced to 15 days prior to the arrival.
  • This Decree has included India within the countries, whose passengers coming from there, must follow the quarantine measures to entry to Panama.
  • These measures apply to nationals, residents and tourists coming from, who have stayed or transited through the United Kingdom, the Republic of South Africa, India or South America, regardless of the result of the PCR or Antigen test that was taken in their country.
  • This Decree derogates the Executive Decree No. 260 of March 29, 2021, Executive Decree No. 486 of April 16, 2021 and Resolution No. 1390 of December 21, 2020.