Last update: 4/11/2021
Panama has been open for international tourism since October 12, 2020. Tourists from almost all countries can now enter Panama.
Like many other countries that are open for tourism, all travelers need to do is have proof of a negative PCR COVID test result from within 48 hours of their departure to Panama and complete a health declaration form.
Can I travel to Panama right now?
Travelers from almost any country can visit Panama right now. Below is a map of all the countries that can currently enter Panama.
Panama - EN
Tourists from all countries except South Africa and the United Kingdom are welcome to travel to Panama.
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
Panamanian citizens and residents can still travel from these countries, but they will have to quarantine in a government facility on arrival in Panama.
Panama COVID-19 travel restrictions and entry requirements
Although Panama is open for tourists from all over the world, there are still several entry requirements that travelers must observe.
All travelers must have proof of a negative PCR COVID test result that was obtained within 48 hours before their departure to Panama. If they do not have a test or their test is older than 48 hours, they must get tested at the airport at their own expense, which costs $50. All travelers must also complete a health declaration form.
Is PCR testing mandatory to travel to Panama?
Taking a PCR COVID test is mandatory to travel to Panama, no matter which country you are coming from. You must be able to present evidence of a negative PCR COVID test result from within 48 hours of your departure to Panama. If your test is older than 48 hours or you do not have a test, you will have to get tested at the airport (the test is at your own expense and costs $50).
Is there a mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Panama?
There is no mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Panama. However, if you do not have a negative PCR COVID test from within 48 hours of your departure to Panama, you will have to get tested at the airport. If your test is positive, you will have to quarantine for at least 7 days in a government facility. You will then be tested after 7 days. If you still test positive, you will have to continue quarantining for another 7 days. If your test is negative at any point, you will no longer have to quarantine.
Additionally, if you are a Panamanian citizen or resident who is traveling from South Africa or the United Kingdom, you will have to quarantine in a government quarantine facility on arrival in Panama for as long as local health authorities consider it necessary.
Is travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage mandatory to enter Panama?
Panama does not require you to have travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage in order to enter the country, but it is always prudent to travel with some kind of travel insurance, especially if it includes medical coverage.
If you’re looking for travel insurance that will also give you great COVID-19 coverage, we recommend Heymondo. We compared various travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage, and Heymondo ranked first for coverage and value for money. You can even get a 5% discount on their policies just for being our reader.
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COVID-19 vaccine to travel to Panama
Although COVID-19 vaccine distribution has begun in most countries around the world, the government has not yet confirmed whether it will be mandatory to present a proof of vaccine record (POVR) or an international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis (ICVP) to enter Panama.
If you’re going to get the COVID-19 vaccine before traveling to Panama, I recommend taking a copy of a vaccination record or certificate with you in case Panama changes its entry requirements.
Other travel restrictions for Panama during COVID-19
Panama has implemented a few other regulations for travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Travelers from all countries must complete a health declaration form online prior to entering Panama.
- All travelers should expect to have their temperatures taken upon arrival.
- Face masks are required in all public areas.
- Social distancing must be observed.
- Depending on your nationality, you may need a tourist visa to enter Panama. Check if you need one below.
What’s open in Panama
There is so much to see and do in Panama. Luckily, hotels, attractions, beaches, and restaurants are open, so you can make the most of your time in this beautiful country.
Hotels and accommodations that are open in Panama
Panama has reopened plenty of hotels and accommodations for international travelers. However, several health and safety regulations have been implemented to protect both staff and guests.
Guests must wear masks at all times when they are in the hotel’s public areas. Buffets will not be available; however, guests can still eat a la carte or order room service. Hand sanitizing stations are available in all main areas for guests to disinfect their hands. The lobby and reception area will be cleaned 3 times a day, while elevators will be disinfected every 2 hours.
More information on these regulations can be found here.
Beaches that are open in Panama
Looking forward to sunbathing and relaxing on the beach? Many of Panama’s beaches are open, so you can soak up the sun and even take a dip in the ocean.
In the provinces of Panamá, Panamá Oeste, Coclé, Veraguas, and Los Santos, beaches are open from 6 AM to 4 PM Monday to Friday and closed on the weekend. In all other provinces, beaches are open during mobility (non-curfew) hours, which means that they are currently open from 4 AM to 9 PM daily.
Masks must be worn at all times, except when you are entering the water or within your family bubble. You must keep your distance from other beachgoers who are not in your family bubble. Drinking alcohol or eating food on the beach is prohibited unless it’s at a nearby restaurant.
Attractions that are open in Panama
Sunbathing can be lovely, but maybe you’d rather explore a beautiful national park, see gorgeous landscapes, or take an informative tour while you’re in Panama. Fortunately, all of that is still possible, since many of Panama’s attractions and tours are currently open.
However, restrictions do vary by province, so you may want to check if tours and attractions are still operating in the province you’re visiting.
These are the most popular tours that are operating in Panama right now:
- Panama Canal Ship Cruise
- San Blas Islands Day Trip
- Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour
- Panama Canal, Colón Rainforest, and San Lorenzo Fort
- Panama City Day Tour
Bear in mind that all tours and attractions may have different hours than usual or reduced capacities for groups, so be sure to check the opening hours for the attraction/tour you’re interested in and book in advance to make sure you have a ticket.
If you take a tour in a car, on a bus, or in any other vehicle, the vehicle will only be filled up to 50% capacity. Any event spaces can only fill up to 30% capacity and will have a limit of 4 people per table. If you’re a golf fan, golf courses are open, but sharing carts, removing flags, or using rakes is not allowed.
More information on regulations for tours and attractions can be found here.
Restaurants that are open in Panama
Whether you want to try local, authentic Panamanian cuisine or just get a bite to eat, Panama has plenty of open restaurants for you to fill up on delicious food. Restaurants have reopened as of February 8, 2021, and have had their health and safety protocols validated by MINSA (Panama’s Ministry of Health).
Restaurants are currently open for dine-in service until 7:30 PM Monday to Friday. Delivery is available until 10 PM.
You must wear a mask at all times in a restaurant, except when you are seated and eating/drinking. Many restaurants will only take reservations, not walk-ins, so be sure to check if you need to make a reservation before you go to a restaurant.
All tables will be at least 2 meters apart from each other. Each guest will get individual packets for salt, pepper, and sauces. Hand sanitizer will be available on tables or in main areas.
More information on restaurant regulations can be found here.
Airports that are open in Panama
Panama has over 40 different airports, but the largest international airport, where most international travelers will arrive, is Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, which is currently open.
All travelers must wear masks at all times in the airport and observe social distancing rules. They should also expect to have their temperatures checked.
Curfew in Panama
Panama currently has a curfew in place until further notice. The current nationwide curfew is from 9 PM to 4 AM, Monday through Friday.
In the provinces of Panamá, Panamá Oeste, Coclé, Veraguas, and Los Santos, there is a full lockdown on weekends from Friday at 9 PM to Monday at 4 AM. During this period, everyone must stay at home.
In the province of Herrera, there is a full lockdown on weekends from Friday at 9 PM to Monday at 4 AM. Everyone must stay at home during this lockdown period. There are also gender restrictions for shopping during the week. Women can only go shopping on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while men can only go shopping on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Where to get a PCR test in Panama
Your country may require you to take a PCR test in order to fly back home. If you need to get a PCR test in Panama, you can find information on testing here.
Panama reopening its borders to tourists – F.A.Q.
Check out these FAQs related to Panama reopening for tourists and let us know if you have any other questions in the comments below.
Yes, anyone except travelers from South Africa and the United Kingdom can visit Panama at the moment.
There are currently 25,000+ active cases and 5,000+ deaths due to COVID-19 in Panama as of today. The CDC classifies travel to Panama as “Level 4- Very High Risk.” If you have a pre-existing condition or any health condition that could increase your chances of serious illness, avoid traveling to Panama. In all other cases, you should reconsider travel to Panama.
Yes, travelers from South Africa and the United Kingdom cannot currently visit Panama.
No, you do not need to quarantine upon arrival in Panama. However, if you do not have a PCR COVID test result or your test result is older than 48 hours, you will be tested upon arrival at the airport. If your test is negative, you do not have to quarantine. If it is positive, you will have to quarantine for 7 days in a government facility before getting tested again, and if that second test is positive, you will have to keep quarantining.
Yes, you must have a negative PCR COVID test result from within 48 hours of traveling to Panama. If your test is older than 48 hours or you do not have one, you will be tested at the airport for a fee of $50.
Yes, there is currently a curfew in Panama. The current nationwide curfew is from 9 PM to 4 AM, Monday through Friday. In the provinces of Panamá, Panamá Oeste, Coclé, Veraguas, Los Santos, and Herrera, there is a weekend lockdown from Friday at 9 PM to Monday at 4 AM.
Yes, there are restrictions on intercity and interregional travel. You cannot travel during curfew hours.
Yes, hotels in Panama are currently open.
Yes, Panama’s airports are open at the moment.
Yes, restaurants in Panama are open, but bars have been closed until further notice.
Yes, beaches in Panama are open, but activities are only permitted during non-curfew hours. In the provinces of Panamá, Panamá Oeste, Coclé, Veraguas, and Los Santos, beaches are open from 6 AM to 4 PM Monday to Friday and closed on the weekend. Masks must be worn at all times, except when you are entering the water or within your family bubble.
Yes, Americans can visit Panama right now.
Yes, Panama is open to Canadian tourists.
We will update this guide on Panama reopening to tourism with any new developments. If you need more information on travel to Panama, you can check these official sources: