Through an executive decree signed by Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo on July 31, Panama has taken its first step towards reopening the Tocumen International Airport, a major hub for connectivity throughout Latin America.
According to Decree No.300, the interconnection of international commercial aviation, transit operations and the entry and exit of national citizens or residents with biosecurity measures and protocols established by health authorities are permitted.
Panama’s borders have been completely locked down since late March until the decree was issued on Thursday.
The decree shared by the Latin American & Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) on social networking site LinkedIn expressed that it was,
“establishing a controlled operation for the interconnection of international commercial aviation which allows limited transit through Tocumen International Airport for the exit and controlled entry of Panamanians and residents of Panama.”
However, the decree went on to state that transiting passengers through Tocumen International Airport will only be permitted providing that their two flights were no longer than six hours apart.
Finally, travelers who have had previous authorization from the Panamanian government to travel to the country, can do so provided they maintain health protocols.
Transit passengers and foreign tourists have not been allowed in Panama since its borders closed at 23:59 local time on March 22, 2020.
International flights were expected to restart on July 22; however, that has since been postponed for a further month.
Several repatriation flights have operated into Panama since the suspension of international flights, but these were operated mainly by Copa Airlines.
Although there are some freedoms for certain travelers to Panama, they will still be expected to complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
HT: Simple Flying