The Panama government has announced a new schedule for reopening the country with a clear target of restarting international travel on Oct. 12.
While every step of the government’s plan is contingent on safety and controlling the spread of COVID, it is reassuring to see a specific timetable released for the industry. We’ve already seen a gradual reopening and we recently reopened our physical office, allowing us to better service the pent up demand we’ve been seeing from clients.
The announced reopening schedule starts on Sept. 7, when the construction industry and related industries will be allowed to restart, including moving services. The Panama Pacific Special Economic Area, the Colon Free Zone (ZLC) and free zones, private marinas, sport fishing, tailor shops, shoe stores, and car washes will also be given the green light to reopen.
Many of the mobilibility restrictions based on gender will be eased on Sept. 14. And then on Sept. 21 many of the major sports activities will resume, although without fans in the seats. Shops, restaurants and inns, administrative and general services, national aviation, and family activities on the beach, rivers, and natural parks will also reopen.
However, the big target date is Oct. 12, when the curfew is expected to officially lifted and international travel will resume, including the reopening of hotels and tourism activity. That will also trigger and general lifting of restrictions on cultural events, music and art academies, libraries, swimming pools, and other public activities.
While we all know the schedule will depend on the health considerations, it is still encouraging to see signs that many normal business activities will resume. We have been able to continue to service our clients during the pandemic and we’re looking forward to the resumption of independent travel.
The rate of the reopening will be dictated by several factors, including coronavirus testing results and the hospital bed capacity, according to government officials.
“This plan is the result of the consensus achieved, after a month and a half of coordinated work with the Health Advisory Council and the private sector, and is conditional on compliance with the health indicators and protocols established by the authorities,” said Minister of Commerce and Industries, Ramón Martínez.