But allowing international visitors to enter the country is a different ball game from domestic tourism. Panama wanted to open its borders but minimize the risk, hence why they are taking extreme precautions to ensure safety for the country. It is now obligatory for incoming travellers to present a negative Covid-19 test on arrival, and this test has to be taken at least 48 hours prior to their arrival in Panama. If a passenger presents a result that was taken before 48 hours, they will have to do a rapid Covid-19 test at the airport which will cost them around £23. Passengers who arrive at the airport with a high fever, despite presenting a negative test, will be tested again. And if the result is positive, they will be quarantined in a hotel for seven days. Due to this stringent protocol, Panama has decided not to bar tourists from any country.
Ivan Eskildsen, the Minister of Tourism explained that they have been working hard to protect the citizens and the tourists, and because of their efforts, they have been accredited with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels stamp. "Our beautiful country, rich in nature, biodiversity and cultural heritage is once again ready to be discovered," he said.
There are a few things that tourists should keep in mind in order to plan their trip. Restaurants have a limited number of diners they can accommodate, so it's advised to book a table beforehand. This also applies to museums and tourist attractions, as they have reduced their capacity by 50%.
The country is set to reopen on October 12, however the government has issued a word of warning. The country will only be allowed to accept international visitors if the death rate is below 3%, if the respiratory care unit is below 15% capacity, and if the hospital beds do not rise above 20% occupancy rate.