Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Panama on the TravelHealthPro website.
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Panama.
Returning to the UK
Travelling from and returning to the UK
Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.
You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
Travel in Panama
Panama is currently under a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You should monitor the press and official announcements of the Panamanian government to ensure you are up to date with any changes to COVID-19 restrictions.
Measures in place to combat the spread of COVID-19 vary by province, including curfews. Travel restrictions between provinces may be introduced at short notice. You may be randomly tested for COVID-19 if you are stopped. The police and security forces are empowered to enforce restrictions on movements and events due to the current state of emergency. You must follow their instructions. Domestic flights are operating. Airports, ports and borders remain open; proof of good health will be required at these entry points.
Make sure you check the local guidance from Panamanian authorities in your area. See the Ministry of Tourism website (in Spanish), Ministry of Health Twitter page (in Spanish) and Visit Panama website (in English)
Public spaces and services
The wearing of masks outside of your accommodation is compulsory nationwide. You must also wear a face shield in addition to your mask on buses and the metro.
Many venues – such as restaurants, bars, museums and other social events – have reduced capacity, although the consumption of alcohol is permitted. Restrictions may be amended based on vaccination status and some venues are requesting proof of full vaccination as a condition of entry. Respect the limits posted on signs at venues.
Some sporting events may require you to complete a QR code for “Safe Mobility” before entering the event. You must adhere to safety measures including the use of face masks and social distancing.
Panama will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. For more information, see the ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status’ section.
Healthcare in Panama
If you are concerned that you may be unwell as a result of coronavirus, you should call the national hotline on 169, or use the Panamanian Government’s “R.O.S.A” (virtual clinic) to send a WhatsApp message, and follow their advice.
You can access the Panamanian public healthcare system on the same terms as Panamanians. Coronavirus tests for those who meet the clinical requirement to be tested will be free of charge.
Most public and private medical centres do not accept walk-ins and require you to book an appointment prior to arrival.
For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
View Health for further details on healthcare in Panama.
See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.
COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Panama
Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Government of Panama announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.
Panama’s national vaccination programme started in January 2021 and is using the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines. British nationals resident in Panama are eligible for vaccination. The Panamanian authorities have created a portal to register for the national vaccination programme. This is available for all Panamanian residents over the age of 16, including British nationals.
Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad page.
The Panamanian Tourism Authority (ATP) has created the following helpline to provide assistance: +507 6330 2520 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.