What Panama is Doing Right (National Quarantine)
We have a friend in the country of Panama. While they have less than 1000 confirmed cases, they are taking firm containment efforts. The below is the latest update from the US Embassy to US citizens living in or visiting Panama:
Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama (March 30, 2020)
Event: COVID-19 Situation Report and Reminder
Hours of circulation during the total quarantine are intended only for essential purchases by one person per household. The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Panama that it is always obligatory to comply with local laws.
On March 29, Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) confirmed 989 cases of COVID-19.
On March 26, Panama announced the nationwide suspension of commercial passenger and domestic charter flights, in addition to the March 22 ban on international commercial passenger flights. There are exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies, medical evacuation, and vaccines.
The Embassy is working on evacuation options via commercial humanitarian and military flights for those U.S. Citizens wishing to depart Panama. Please express your interest in consideration for potential evacuation flights by emailing: [email protected]
Availability will be based upon first-come first-served basis and will require a financial commitment in the form of a repatriation loan for the State Department calculated one-way fare to the destination of the aircraft, which is NOT negotiable.
On March 25, Panama enacted nationwide movement restrictions, also being referred to as quarantine. The movement restrictions will include regular windows of time for people to conduct essential activities, such as grocery shopping, getting gas and medicines, or dealing with a medical emergency, based on the last digit of their cedula number or passport if an individual does not have a cedula. For U.S. Citizens in Panama without a cedula, they should carry their passports at all times. The two-hour windows are as follows:
· Last number is 7 – 6:30 – 8:30am
· Last number is 8 – 7:30 – 9:30am
· Last number is 9 – 8:30 – 10:30am
· Last number is 0 – 9:30 – 11:30am
· Last number is 1 – 12:30 – 2:30pm
· Last number is 2 – 1:30 – 3:30pm
· Last number is 3 – 2:30 – 4:30pm
· Last number is 4 – 3:30 – 5:30pm
· Last number is 5 – 4:30 – 6:30pm
· Last number is 6 – 5:30 – 7:30pm
· There is a special window for those over 60 years old, regardless of cedula or passport numbers, between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.
Even with these time allowances, during the nationwide movement restrictions the Embassy encourages everyone to prepare accordingly. Take the opportunity to stock up on any medicines and food supplies you may need to shelter in place in your homes for an extended period of time.
On March 22, the Panamanian government suspended all international commercial flights into and out of Panama for 30 days.
On March 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.
On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of U.S. personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak the Peace Corps has reduced/evacuated all Volunteers from Panama.
The Government of Panama has implemented enhanced quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Travelers should be prepared for further travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Visit the website of the Panamanian Ministry of Health (in Spanish) for the most up to date information on these measures.
Schools and universities are closed nation-wide. Sporting events, festivals, and all gatherings larger than 50 people have been banned. Visit the local government COVID-19 website for updated information.
On March 17, U.S. Embassy Panama suspended routine consular services. For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information.
The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice
U.S. government personnel are restricted from non-essential domestic and international travel.
Actions to Take:
· Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
· For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
· Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
· Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19for information on conditions in Panama.
· Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama
Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue
State Department – Consular Affairs
+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444
Hello from Panama
Tonight there was another level of lockdown Panama. Monday Wednesday Friday women are allowed to go out for two hours depending on their ID last number and then Tuesday, Thurdsay and Saturday men are allowed for their two hours as per ID last number. Over 60 and disabled are allowed everday from 1100 to 1 pm.
Today I gave masks and soaps to the garbage men and masks to the gas station attendent and to the security guard at the bank machine. They were all appreciative and put them on right away. Today even the CARS are social distancing,,,in the gas line of three cars the attendant made us wait about 4 mtres apart and same in the traffic light…
Our leadership was late on the uptake but is trying really hard to make up for lost time and in my mind, doing very well all things considered. Our President is putting people before money and God Bless him for that.