Traveling to Panama During COVID

panama airport covid rules
Last Updated on July 12, 2022

Panama is open and visitors from all countries are welcome. Our tours resumed regular operations in February 2021 and are proceeding as scheduled.

During the pandemic, we’ve had over 500 tour guests and have received almost entirely positive feedback. Traveling to Panama is a little more challenging than it used to be but we’re confident you can still have an amazing trip.

Panama’s standard entry requirements apply in addition to the recommendations & requirements listed below.

Travel Insurance

We recommend buying travel insurance. Depending on the policy, travel insurance may cover your potentially non-refundable travel expenses, medical expenses, and more.

We strongly encourage all travelers to get a negative COVID test within 3 days before flying to Panama, even if not required to do so by your airline or the government.

If you test positive, it will be much better for you to learn this when you are near home and before traveling. If you test positive in Panama, you will be required to quarantine for 5 days at an authorized hotel at your own expense.

Some ideas for finding testing include:

  • Make an appointment with a pharmacy in your area. You may be able to use these links: WalgreensCVS
  • Do a Google search for “COVID testing near me” or “COVID testing” + the name of your city
  • Contact your health care provider

Airline COVID Test Requirements

It’s unlikely but possible your airline may require you to show proof of a negative COVID test to board a flight to Panama.

You should pay careful attention to any emails you receive from your airline. They will communicate their COVID testing requirements, if any, to you. If you are unsure of your airline’s policy, contact them for more information.

COVID Test Required for All Tour Guests

All group tour guests and staff are required to show proof of a negative COVID test (PCR, NAAT, or antigen) performed on or after the Wednesday before their tour. A negative COVID test is required regardless of vaccination or antibody status.

If possible, you should get a COVID test before flying to Panama.

For more information see Group Tour COVID Test Requirements.

You will be required to show proof of a negative COVID test to our on-site staff before entering our conference room on Saturday morning.

COVID Test May Be Required to Enter Panama

Travelers with a complete vaccination scheme

You will not have to present a negative COVID-19 test for entry to Panama as long as you can provide physical or digital proof of a complete vaccination scheme and the last dose of the vaccine was administered 14 days or more before your arrival in Panama.

Currently, a booster shot is not required to have a complete vaccination scheme.

The following vaccination schemes are considered complete:

  • 1 (one) dose of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
  • 2 (two) doses of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, and Sinovac. Combining different vaccines is accepted (ie. one AstraZeneca shot & one Pfizer shot).

Travelers without a complete vaccination scheme

If you do not have proof of a complete vaccination scheme, you will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test to enter Panama. The test can be taken no more than 72 hours before your arrival time in Panama.

If a test is not possible in that timeframe, you will be required to take a COVID test when you arrive at Tocumen International Airport (PTY). The cost is $50. If you test positive, you will be required to quarantine for 5 days at your own expense in a Hotel Hospital designated by the Ministry of Health.

If you are coming on a group tour: Depending on your date of arrival in Panama, you may need to get two COVID tests.

For example, if you are arriving in Panama on the Tuesday before your tour – you will need to get one test to enter Panama and a second test to come on our tour.

However, if you are arriving on the Friday before your tour you could get only one test on Wednesday. The results from this test will be accepted to enter Panama as well as to come on our tour.

Health Affidavit Required Before You Fly

When your arrival time in Panama is less than 72 hours away and ideally after you have a negative COVID test result (**if required to get a test), Panama requires you to complete a Health Affidavit. We published some instructions here:

How to Fill Out the Panama Health Affidavit Form

The form asks where you will be staying while you are in Panama (Temporal Address). If you are coming on a group tour, we’ll send you that information approximately 10 days before your tour date.

Precautions During Your Trip

The use of a face mask covering your mouth and nose is mandatory in:

  • Our tour bus & airport shuttles
  • Public transportation
  • Public and private health facilities

Some 3rd party businesses we visit during the tour may require a face mask to enter.

Every evening the interior of our tour bus will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. All surfaces you might come in contact with will be cleaned with a disinfectant. During our lunch stop, the interior of the bus will be wiped down with disinfectant again.