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Panama To Allow Vaccinated Tourists Without Testing

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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.  

Panama To Allow Vaccinated Tourists Without Testing

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. 

vaccinated tourists welcome in Panama 2021

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.

panama city 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.

panama canal

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.

Panama City Skyline at Night

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

I risked buying two one-ways from Argentina on different carriers and overnighting in Panama. I presume that I don't need a test to enter and overnight in Panama if I'm a vaccinated American and can just take my antigen test in Panama to get back to the US on the other carrier the next day?


Monday 10th of May 2021

We are from the uk, fully vaccinated, and only need to transit through Panama. It looks like we don’t need a PCR test to enter Panama, but do we still need a PCR just to transit? We had planned to have an antigen test before leaving Ecuador - will this be enough given we will have proof of vaccination?

Kashlee Kucheran

Monday 10th of May 2021

The vaccination exemption has been delayed. However, I am not sure you will need a test to transit. That used to be the rule for months, but the verbiage has been removed from the entry requirements, having us thinking it's no longer in place. Your airline in Ecuador will be the ones checking to see if you have the test before boarding if in fact you need one, so check with them to be sure.


Thursday 18th of March 2021

I won't be applying for a residency visa as long as Panama has entry requirements.


Thursday 18th of March 2021

pls state when this new policy starts

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 18th of March 2021

As mentioned in detail within the post, the health minister did not specify in the press conference if this is effective immediately or not. We are awaiting confirmation and will update