"Our beautiful country, rich in nature, biodiversity, and cultural heritage is once again ready to be discovered," Panama's Minister of Tourism said.

By Cailey Rizzo
September 30, 2020
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Panama announced it will reopen its borders to international visitors on Oct. 12, with several new COVID-19 precautions in place.

Travelers to Panama must present negative COVID-19 test results, taken within 48 hours of arrival. Those whose results are older than 48 hours will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 test at the airport, at a cost of about $30. There are no arrival restrictions based on country, anyone can enter Panama.

“After closing our borders to travelers in late March, we are excited to safely welcome visitors back to Panama,” Panama's Minister of Tourism, Ivan Eskildsen, said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. “The new health and safety protocols reflect our continuous hard work and dedication in protecting both Panamanians and our visitors, and through our efforts, have earned the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels stamp of approval. Our beautiful country, rich in nature, biodiversity, and cultural heritage is once again ready to be discovered.”

Before checking in for a flight, passengers must also complete an electronic affidavit, agreeing to comply with the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 measures in Panama. If a traveler is deemed to have contracted COVID-19 upon arrival, they will have to quarantine for seven days at a hotel, paid for by the Panamanian government. They will be tested again at the end of the quarantine period.

Face masks are required in all public spaces and electronic payments at shops and restaurants are preferred to reduce person-to-person contact. Visitors should also obey social distancing measures and follow directions on signs when posted.

Credit: Luis Acosta/AFP via Getty Images

Anyone looking to dine in a restaurant should consider making reservations in advance as seating is limited as restaurants have to abide by social distancing between tables. Tours are also operating with limited capacity, down to 50% in ground transportation vehicles.

While travel health insurance isn’t required for entry into Panama, it is highly recommended.

Earlier this month, Colombia reopened its borders to international flights and several Caribbean islands have been doing the same.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. When in a new city, she's usually out to discover under-the-radar art, culture, and secondhand stores. No matter her location, you can find her on Twitter, on Instagram or at caileyrizzo.com.