March 25, 2020
Panamanian Government declares “State of National Emergency” due to spread of COVID-19
In light of the World Health Organization’s declaration of a pandemic due to the COVID-19 outbreak and, in response to the rapid spread of the virus among Panamanian citizens, the Cabinet of Ministers of Panama has issued Cabinet Resolution No. 11 of 13 March 2020, declaring a “state of national emergency.” The purpose of the state of national emergency is to facilitate the ability to obtain resources and promote the actions that are necessary for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of the state of emergency, several executive decrees have been issued. Specifically, Executive Decree No. 114 of 13 March 2020 imposes the following measures for three months:
Executive Decree No. 71 of 13 March 2020 temporarily modifies Article 159 of the Labor Code to adapt working hours according to the nature of the business to avoid further spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, Executive Decree No. 472 of 13 March 2020, establishes precautionary and sanitary measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. It suspends mass gathering activities, shipments, disembarkations of ships from risk areas, and official visits to and from other countries, among other things. The Executive Decree also eases the ability of workers to use sick leave if they are quarantined because of COVID-19.
In addition to those measures, the Government is evaluating the following measures:
For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:
Ernst & Young Limited Corp., Panama City
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Latin American Business Center, New York
Ernst & Young LLP (United Kingdom), Latin American Business Center, London
Ernst & Young Tax Co., Latin American Business Center, Japan & Asia Pacific