Saturday 1 April 2023

Panama limits the negative covid test for unvaccinated tourists

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) indicated in its most recent report that at least 57 out of 100 people have a complete vaccination schedule in Panama.

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01 April 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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Q24N (EFE) The Government of Panama established that only unvaccinated tourists or those who do not have at least two doses of the covid-19 vaccine must present a negative PCR or antigen test to enter the country.

Every traveler who enters Panama by air, sea or land “must have the complete schedule” of the covid vaccine or provide a negative PCR or antigen test

This is stated in its article by executive decree number 17 of this February 16, 2022, which “adjusts the measures for the entry of travelers” into Panamanian territory due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The first article of the decree states that every traveler who enters Panama by air, sea or land “must have the complete schedule or at least two doses of the covid vaccine, according to the national vaccination program approved by the country of origin or provenance”.

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In Panama, three doses of the vaccine are considered a complete schedule for those over 16 years of age, a provision that will come into force on February 20, as announced last January by the Ministry of Health.

Travelers vaccinated with at least two doses must digitally record proof of their vaccination prior to travel, or physically present the vaccination card at the port of entry to the country, said the executive decree signed by Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo, and the Minister Health, Ivette Berrío.

While any traveler who is not vaccinated or who does not have at least two doses of the covid-19 vaccine must present a negative PCR or antigen test of not more than 72 hours prior to flight, or perform it at their own cost entering Panama, indicated the decree, published this Wednesday in the official gazette.

“These adjustments to the measures for the entry of travelers to Panama have been taken considering “the high effectiveness and coverage in the national population of the vaccine against covid, and in order to shore up economic recovery,” the official document said.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) indicated in its most recent report that at least 57 out of 100 people have a complete vaccination schedule and 72% have received at least one dose in Panama, being one of the countries with the highest proportion of the fully immunized population, above the global average of 53%.

On February 9, the head of the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP), Iván Eskildsen, revealed to EFE that businessmen in the sector had formally proposed to the Executive that the measure of requesting three doses of vaccine be reconsidered.

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“Beyond the fact that we support it (the three-dose vaccine scheme), other countries are not applying it and it would reduce our competitiveness,” Eskildsen admitted.

Tourism, which has contributed up to US$4.5 billion dollars to the Panamanian economy, has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. Hotel occupancy in 2021 did not even reach 10%, according to data from the sector.

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Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

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