News highlights and summary (July 15, 2020):
As the pandemic drags on, we look for a light at the end of the tunnel, hoping for a return to some resemblance of normal. Looking towards the future we have compiled the most up to date news relating to the travel and tourism industry of Panama. Unfortunately, during these times much of what tomorrow holds is very much up in the air when it comes to Panama due to indecision and lack of strategic planning. Here’s the news:
Panama is returning to total quarantine for the weekends starting Friday, July 17. This means that no one will be permitted on the streets every Saturday and Sundays. This measure will coincide with a curfew order of 7pm – 5am every day. This will be in effect until further notice by the Ministry of Health - https://www.tvn-2.com/nacionales/Ministro-Sucre-endureciendo-disminuir-COVID-19-Coronavirus-en-Panama_0_5625187435.html
There was discussion within the government to go into 100% lockdown for 15 days in which no one would be permitted to leave their residences at all. This was later determined too harsh a measure and retracted from the discourse.
Tocumen international airport and government officials are evaluating the early reopening of the airport for connecting flights only. This will allow for all those employed by the airport to get back to work and for connections to restart. This measure would not permit the entry of tourists or any others into Panama. To date, without further updates, the international airport is scheduled to restart full operations as of July 23, 2020. https://www.prensa.com/sociedad/gobierno-evalua-la-reapertura-del-aeropuerto-de-tocumen-para-los-vuelos-en-transito/
As of July 5, no plan has been established for the reopening of international tourism in Panama. The Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) has delayed and presented no plan based on their dependency on other state agencies. https://www.laestrella.com.pa/economia/200507/sector-turistico-alerta-falta-plan-reactivacion-post-covid-19