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19 Oct 2020 | 06:43 AM UTC

Panama: Authorities revise movement restrictions in several areas October 17 /update 20

Authorities revise movement restrictions in several areas effective from October 17; follow authority directives



Authorities revised movement restrictions in several areas across the country effective from Saturday, October 17. In Chiriqui and the district of Changuinola in Bocas del Toro province, quarantine measures will no longer be in place on Saturdays. Curfews in the rest of the country remain unchanged.

A nationwide curfew runs Monday through Friday from 23:00 to 05:00 (local time), with quarantine from 23:00 on Saturday until 05:00 on Monday. The provinces of Chiriqui, Colón and the districts of Chiriqui Grande, Isla Colon, Changuinola, and Almirante in Bocas del Toro have nightly curfews running Monday through Friday from 19:00 until 05:00, and from 19:00 on Saturday until Monday at 05:00. In the rest of Bocas del Toro province, the curfew remains effective Monday through Thursday between 19:00 and 05:00, with a weekend quarantine from Friday at 19:00 until Monday at 05:00. A full curfew remains in place in Panama City and Panama Oeste from 23:00 on Saturday until 05:00 Monday.

Most business operations have resumed, with limitations on capacity and additional health protocols. Places of worship, public parks, sports facilities, public social areas, and swimming pools are open at a 25 percent capacity following social distancing regulations. Cultural activities, such as theatres, museums, and cinemas, have resumed operations with a 50 percent capacity. Gyms in apart complexes remain closed. Group social activities, celebrations, beach visits, contact sports, and activities that cannot follow social distancing measures are prohibited. Festivals and all gatherings larger than 50 people, including in public spaces and private venues, are prohibited. Shopping centers and retail shops have reopened. Schools and universities remain closed nationwide for in-person classes until further notice. Public transportation services have resumed with limitations and strict health regulations in place. Taxi services are running at a reduced capacity and are no operating in Panama City and Panama Oeste on Sundays. Individuals are required to wear face masks outside of their accommodation nationwide.

The government announced the resumption of international commercial flight services to and from Panama on October 12. Travelers are required to provide a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test certificate obtained no more than 48 hours prior to departure. If travelers are unable to acquire a test prior to traveling, tests can be carried out at Tocumen International Airport (PTY) for USD50. If travelers test positive, they will be required to quarantine for at least seven days in a government facility. Further testing will then be carried out. Travelers are permitted to transit through Panama, additional testing and screening measures will take place and travelers will not be allowed to leave the airport. Domestic flights have also resumed operations.

As of Monday, October 19, there have been 124,745 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2564 associated fatalities in Panama. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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