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Panama: COVID-19 Entry Requirements Travelers Need To Know

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Panama is known for so much more than its famed canal. From the modern skyscrapers of Panama city to its beautiful beaches, the country truly has something for everyone.

Panama's tourism industry was originally devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic but has begun its recovery by opening for international tourists since later 2020. 

Here are all the latest COVID-19 entry requirements and everything travelers need to know before booking their trip to Panama.

San Blas island, Kuna Yala, Panama
San Blas island, Kuna Yala, Panama

Countries Permitted To Visit Panama

Travelers from all countries are permitted to visit Panama under regular visa requirements. 

Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe are currently banned due to variants.

Travel Authorization To Visit Panama

All passengers must fill out an online health declaration form before entering Panama.

Two cargo ships enter the Gatun Locks from the Gatun Lake, Panama Canal

COVID-19 Testing Entry Requirements For Panama

All travelers arriving in Panama must present a negative 72-hour COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test OR proof of vaccination. The test results must be in English or Spanish.

Unvaccinated visitors without a COVID test upon arrival will have to take a test at the airport for $50.

Casco Viejo street in an old part of Panama City
Casco Viejo street in an old part of Panama City

Quarantine Entry Requirements 

There are no quarantines for fully-vaccinated travelers arriving in Panama.

Meanwhile, unvaccinated travelers from the following countries will be placed under a 72-hour quarantine upon arrival:

  • Cayman Islands
  • Barbados
  • Anguilla
  • Bonaire
  • Greece
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Serbia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Slovenia
  • Hungary
  • Faroe Islands
  • Ireland
  • Montenegro
  • Croatia
  • Netherlands
  • Slovakia
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Armenia
  • Ukraine
  • Jersey
  • Georgia
  • Guernsey
  • United Kingdom

They need to bring the mandatory 72-hour COVID test upon arrival and take another test at the end of the quarantine period, all at their expense. They must have a reservation prior to arrival, which they will present in printed version upon entry. 

Authorized Hotels:

  1. Westin Panama
  2. Holiday Inn at the Panama Canal
  3. Mio Hotel Group
  4. The Santa Maria, a Luxury Collection Hotel
  5. Sortis Hotel
  6. Wyndham Panama Albrook Mall
  7. Westin Playa Bonita

Those who test positive at the end of the 72-hour period will be quarantined for an additional 14 days in a hotel designated by the Ministry of Health. Affected travelers will have to cover the cost of the stay.

Unvaccinated travelers from countries not on the list do not need to quarantine for as long as they have a negative 72-hour COVID test result.

Panama City Skyline at Night
Panama City Skyline at Night

COVID-19 Travel Insurance Entry Requirements 

All incoming travelers should have travel insurance that covers COVID-19 for the duration of their trip to Panama. 

COVID-19 Health Requirements While in Panama

All visitors must follow COVID-19 health requirements while in Panama:

  • Masks are not required but encouraged
  • Touristic activities, cultural and creative attractions, libraries, movies, theaters, and casinos are operating with restrictions and lower capacities
  • Business meetings are allowed up to a maximum of 25 people
  • Follow social distancing markers and instructions
  • Daily curfew from 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. in the provinces of Colon and Panama Oeste
Panama City Harbour
Panama City Harbor

COVID-19 Vaccine Entry Requirements 

In March 2021, Health Minister Sucre announced that fully vaccinated travelers will not have to provide a negative PCR/antigen test to enter.

Visa Entry Requirements For Panama During COVID-19

All travelers arriving in Panama will need to follow regular visa requirements.

Many countries can visit Panama for up to 180 days without a visa.

Travelers that require a visa must apply at the Panama embassy/consulate in their home country.  

See the chart below to check if your country requires a visa. 

Visa policy of Panama – Image: Wiki

Panama Covid-19 Entry Requirements:

  1. Check if you need a visa for entry to Panama
  2. If unvaccinated, get proof of a negative PCR or antigen test no older than 72 hours before you travel
  3. Present proof of negative test or vaccination certificate upon entry
  4. Follow all health protocols while in Panama

Read More: 

Countries Reopening For American Tourists

Countries Reopening For Canadian Tourists

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19

For Breaking Travel Reopening News & Questions, Join Our: Facebook Community


Sources: US State Dept. / UK Gov

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

Article Originally Published October 18th, 2020


Wednesday 21st of April 2021

Rules have once again changed for those coming from South America. Negative PCR or antigen result is required before arrival. A molecular test is now required upon arrival($85), though the quarantine was shortened to 3 days. After 3 days another PCR test must be done.

All sources are saying that the Panamanian government will pay for the 3-day stay in a hotel hospital and the third COVID test. After May 3 quarantine can be done at hotels.


Friday 16th of April 2021

It's said on the copa airline that pcr test is not mandatory for TRANSIT. And 2 others people confirmed the information. Can you tell me where did you had the information? I go to mexico who don't need it too

Kashlee Kucheran

Saturday 17th of April 2021

If your airline has told you not to get one, then you shouldn't need one, as they are the ones that would be checking to see if you have it or not. Listen to the advice of your airline. Rules change very fast in this environoment!


Thursday 8th of April 2021

Where did you get the information that a negative test is required to TRANSIT? Copa Airlines makes no mention of it on their website for required documentation, and since transiting passengers aren't entering the country, entry requirements wouldn't apply.


Wednesday 31st of March 2021

Hello. Panama just changed its entry requirements for anyone coming from South America, and I was wondering if you could clarify them for me. This is my understanding of it:

Anyone who has been in South America for the past 14 days before their flight needs an antigen or PCR test with a negative test result to enter Panama. At the airport in Panama, they must then do a rapid test before passing through immigration. If the test is negative they will be placed in a quarantine facility (supposedly free of charge) for five days. If they test negative on the fifth day they will be allowed to move around the country freely.

I'm planning on traveling to Panama from Ecuador at the end of April so I'd like some clarification on these new restrictions.


Saturday 3rd of April 2021

@Kashlee Kucheran, I suppose travelers will be responsible for paying for all 3+ tests, correct?

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 1st of April 2021

Hello - Exactly how you have typed ou the new restrictions for South America is the total information I have as well. Negative test to enter, test on arrival, 5 day quarantine, if negative = released. If positive, 14 day quarantine.

John Hawkins

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Hi I flew to Mexico on 2 Nov with a transit in Panama. I didn't need a covid test for Panama. And Mexico didn't ask for an onward flight or travel insurance. They did ask me how much money I had and how I was funding the trip. John