When Panama re-opened its borders to visitors on October 12th, Safety Guidelines for Your Next Trip to Panama was published on Panama’s official tourism website. This is required reading for anyone who plans to travel to Panama.
In the “Prior to Traveling” section of that page, they list a number of requirements to enter Panama. One of the requirements states:
Prior to check-in, all incoming travelers will be required to complete an Electronic Affidavit (sworn statement) agreeing to:
- Comply with all sanitary control measures outlined by the Ministry of Health of Panama.
- Provide localization information for residence while in Panama.
- Confirm that you are healthy (no symptoms of any respiratory illness) and that you have not been exposed to COIVD-19 within the last fourteen (14) days.
The page also includes instructions for how to fill out the Affidavit.
During the last couple of weeks, we’ve received dozens of phone calls and emails from people who have experienced problems while attempting to fill out this form. At first, I thought to myself “Geez! How hard could it really be?” But the calls have kept coming in.
I decided to try filling it out myself to find out what is really going on. What I found was the process is actually surprisingly difficult. If it was any other form on the internet I would have given up early on. But considering how important the form is, I was determined to make it work. After a lot of trial and error, I was finally able to complete the form!
I documented my experience and am sharing it with you so you’ll hopefully have a better experience than I did. This is what worked for me…
Quick Note: I believe the form is supposed to be filled out no more than 4 days before your check-in date. Don’t fill it out too early.
Have problems with this form? Unfortunately, we are not able to provide tech support if you have problems completing this form. We don’t have any other information than what is listed below. If you experience problems you could try using a different web browser, using a different device, or using a different email address.
Step 1 – Use Google Chrome on a laptop or desktop
I completed the form on my laptop. We’ve heard that the form works better on Firefox but, for me, it worked on Google Chrome. It may work on other browsers or devices. I don’t know because I didn’t try that.
One thing I had to do was temporarily disable my ad & tracking blockers. I have both the uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger extensions installed and they seemed to cause problems during this process. Once I disabled them some of the problems disappeared. If you don’t know what these are, you probably don’t need to do anything.
Step 3 – Register on the Panama Digital website
Before you can get to the Affidavit form, you first need to create an account on the Panama Digital website. Use this link:
In the top right corner click on “EN”. This will change the site from Spanish to English. After changing the site to English, I found that some, but not all, of the site actually used English. Some text was still in Spanish.
Now you should see the registration form in English (pictured below).
Here are some tips for completing this form:
- For Identification document, select Passport.
- For Passport, enter your passport number.
- Birth date must be entered in the format dd/mm/yyyy.
- For Name, enter your first name
- For Surnames, enter your last name.
Under Telephone, you first need to select which country your phone number is in. The list of countries is in Spanish. For United States, choose Estados Unidos. If you can’t find your country name in the list, go to Google Translate, enter the name of your country, and translate it to Spanish. Then, go back to the registration form and try finding the name of your country in Spanish.
Finally, enter your phone number with numbers only, no dashes or spaces.
Enter your email address twice, then click the Check in button.
Step 4 – Check your email for the confirmation message
Look for an email from email@example.com. The subject line is “Alta usuario”. If you can’t find it in your inbox, check your spam or junk mail folder. For me, the email arrived instantly.
Find the email and click “Cambiar clave” at the bottom.
Step 5 – Create a password
On the page that opens after you click the link in the confirmation email, you need to create a password. You will need this to log in to the Panama Digital website. Note this page is in Spanish and I wasn’t able to change it to English. When creating a password, it must follow these guidelines:
- 8 characters or more
- A minimum of: 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter, and 1 number.
- Special characters are not allowed.
I had problems getting it to accept a password but I was probably doing something wrong. If you have a problem on this page, try this:
- Choose a password that is exactly 8 characters
- Use only 1 uppercase letter
- Use only 1 number
- For the rest of the characters, use lowercase
Enter the password you want to use in the Contrasena fields, then click the Restaurar button.
Step 6 – Find the Digital Affidavit
This was the most challenging part of the process for me. The instructions on the Safety Guidelines page were incorrect. Also, the site kept giving me error messages. This is what I did to make it work…
Login to the Panama Digital website using this link:
Enter the same email address and password that you used to create the account, then click the GET IN button.
After I logged in I got an error message in Spanish telling me there was a problem and I needed to log in again. No matter what I did I kept getting this error message. Eventually, I realized that the error message was wrong. I actually was logged in! I decided to ignore the error message and try to find the form.
In the main menu, hover your mouse over FORMALITIES then click on DECLARACION JURADA DE SALUD DE PASAJEROS PARA INGRESAR A PANAMA. It looks like this:
Step 7 – Fill Out the Digital Affidavit Form
I found the form! From here on out it was mostly smooth sailing. The form looks like this:
When I completed the form, I indicated I am not a resident of Panama. The options may be slightly different if you say you are a resident.
Here are some tips for completing the form:
- Date of Entry to Panama: This field uses the format mm/dd/yyyy which is different from the Birth date field you entered during registration.
- Country of origin: The list of countries is in Spanish. For United States, choose Estados Unidos.
- Birthdate: On this page, the form uses the format mm/dd/yyyy.
- Nationality: The list of countries is in Spanish. For United States, choose Estados Unidos.
- Telephone: Enter your phone number, numbers only – no dashes or spaces.
The Direccion Temporal section is asking where you will be staying in Panama. For example, if you are staying at a hotel you would enter the information for the hotel here. If you are staying in multiple locations you might want to enter the one you will be spending the most time at.
Some of this section is in Spanish. I used Google Translate to translate it into English.
Sitio de hospedaje = Hosting site. Enter the name of the hotel or the place where you will be staying.
Direccion del sitio de hospedaja = Address of or directions to the hosting site.
Telefono del lugar de hospedaje = Telephone of the place of lodging
Note: If you are joining us for a group tour of Panama, we will email you before your tour and let you know what to enter here.
COUNTRIES VISITED IN THE LAST 14 DAYS
The list of countries is in Spanish. You should know the drill by now! For United States, choose Estados Unidos.
Once you are done completing the form, click the Send button. You should see a success message, like this:
Step 8 – Check Your Email for the QR Code
After you complete the form, you will be sent a confirmation email with a file containing a QR code. You may be required to show this QR code at the airport so it’s important that you find it.
We’ve received reports that some people are asked to present the QR code before boarding their flight to Panama, others are asked for it after they arrive in Panama, and others aren’t asked for it at all! Make sure to keep it on hand just in case. You may even want to take a screenshot of it on your phone so you can access it even if you don’t have cell phone signal.
For me, the email arrived immediately. If you can’t find it, check your spam or junk mail folder. The email came from firstname.lastname@example.org and had the subject line “Codigo QR”. It looks like this:
So, that’s it! Just make sure to have the QR code available during your entire journey to Panama.
Have problems with this form? Unfortunately, we are not able to provide tech support if you have problems completing this form. We don’t have any other information than what is listed above. If you experience problems you could try using a different web browser, using a different device, or using a different email address.