Panama’s Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, announced a decision had been reached at a recent government council that will allow vaccinated tourists to bypass testing and/or quarantine requirements for entry into Panama.
He stated as long as travelers can show certification that they’ve received both doses of the vaccine, they can enter Panama without showing proof of a negative PCR or antigen test.
This story is breaking news and Sucre did not clarify in the press conference if vaccinated tourists are welcome effective immediately, or if an official start-date is to be implemented soon. Details to come.
Panama is the latest country to join the fast-growing list of nations that are making travel exceptions for vaccinated passengers. As of March 18, 2021, there are 14 countries on the list, with dozens more expected to join before summer.
Panama’s tourism industry was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic but began recovery by opening for international tourists back in October 12, 2020.
Testing is currently required for entry into Panama
Since reopening for foreign visitors, Panama has established several biosecurity protocols to allow for the safe return of tourism. All arrivals are expected to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test, performed no longer than 48 hours before arrival. Any passenger who arrives without proof of a negative test, or whose test has gone over the 48-hour time-frame, must perform a test upon arrival at the cost of $50 USD.
All passengers must also fill out an online health declaration form before entering Panama.
While tourists from all countries are now permitted to visit with the above testing requirements, there is a temporary ban on travelers from the United Kingdom and South Africa due to variant strains. It is unknown at this time if vaccinated travelers from these two nations will now be permitted to visit under the new exceptions.
Sucre mentioned his continued concern about the variants in South Africa and the UK, but also mentioned the USA and Brazil are countries they intend to keep an eye on and potentially increase protocols from.
What’s Open in Panama
Visitors will find most attractions, venues and hotels have reopened, including: beaches, tours, movie theatres, hotels, restaurants, casinos, salons, shopping malls, shops, gyms, museums, national parks, golf courses, pools, etc – although they may have limited capacity or reduced hours at this time.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories