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March 25, 2020

Panamanian Government establishes additional sanitary measures to mitigate spread of COVID-19

Based on the increase COVID-19 cases among Panamanians, the Panamanian Government has issued Executive Decree 499 of 2020 and Executive Decree 500 of 2020, establishing additional measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Executive Decree 499 of 2020

Under Executive Decree 499 of 2020, the provinces of Panama, West Panama and Colón are declared as epidemic zones subject to sanitary control, which means individuals may not leave those zones. To control the entry and exit of individuals in those zones, the following sanitary control checkpoints have been established:

  1. Panama Province: In the National Police checkpoint in Chepo district
  2. Western Panama Province: In the La Espiga sector of the La Chorrera district and in the El Lago area of the Capira district
  3. Colón Province: In the Interoceanic Bridge and in Maria Chiquita

Individuals who must go in and out of the epidemic areas due to the nature of their work are exempt from the sanitary control measures (i.e., may leave the epidemic areas). Those individuals must carry the following documents:

  1. Personal identification document
  2. Work identification card
  3. Institutional safe-conducts (i.e., documents identifying the worker and place of employment)
  4. Water bill, electricity bill or document that shows their address

Executive Decree 500 of 2020

Executive Decree 500 of 2020 temporarily closes certain commercial establishments and companies. The following establishments may remain open:

  1. Supply chain: establishments that trade and sell goods, pharmacies, safety equipment companies, veterinary and agricultural supply companies, construction material suppliers, printers, laundries, packaging manufacturers, maintenance companies, medical supply companies
  2. The Panama Canal, airports, and establishments dedicated to maritime, land, air transportation and others
  3. Establishments dedicated to security (private security)
  4. Certified lawyers authorized to defend people arrested during the curfew
  5. Restaurants with delivery and take out options
  6. Distribution companies, fuel supply
  7. Establishments dedicated to banking, insurance, etc.
  8. Companies that provide public services
  9. Concrete and derivatives companies
  10. Establishments that are part of the agricultural industry
  11. Medical and hospital equipment suppliers

Companies that are not on the list will be subject to sanctions if they do not temporarily close.

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



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