Panama has this week announced that it will be reopening its borders to international visitors from all countries starting on October 12, 2020.
However, with the coronavirus pandemic still affecting countries worldwide, , The Panama Tourism Authority has been working closely with government authorities in order to implement strategic health and safety protocols that have been designed to keep both local communities and travelers as safe as possible given the circumstances.
“After closing our borders to travelers in late March, we are excited to safely welcome visitors back to Panama,” explained Minister Eskildsen in a press release. “The new health and safety protocols reflect our continuous hard work and dedication in protecting both Panamanians and our visitors, and through our efforts, have earned the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels stamp of approval. Our beautiful country, rich in nature, biodiversity and cultural heritage is once again ready to be discovered.”
The implementation of the new health and safety protocols will begin with pre-travel requirements, including the presentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test upon arrival, which must be taken no more than 48 hours before arriving in the country.
That said, if a traveler’s test was taken more than 48 hours before arriving, they will be mandated to take a rapid test prior to clearing customs and will be responsible for covering the US$30 fee for the test.
Travelers will also be required to complete an electronic affidavit before checking-in to their flight, where they will have to agree to comply with all sanitary control measures and will be available online as soon as October 10.
Note that once travelers have cleared customs and make their way out of the airport, face masks will be required in all public places, for both residents and travelers alike. Similar to the United States, there will also be an increased presence of hand sanitizing stations, electronic payment options, digital menus, and other implementations designed to avoid physical contact with others.
For more information on Panama’s re-opening, their health and safety protocols, or how to start planning a vacation in the age of the coronavirus, be sure to visit the official Visit Panama website.