The Central American nation of Panama is temporarily suspending entry for foreign travelers who have stayed in or transited through either the United Kingdom or South Africa in the past 20 days, the government announced in a statement Monday.
The ban applies to those trying to enter Panama through air, land or water routes via commercial or private transport, and comes into force at 11:59 p.m. Monday local time.
A PCR test or an antibodies test will be compulsory upon arrival for Panamanians wishing to enter their country; in addition, a mandatory quarantine is required at a “hotel hospital” regardless of the test results for as long as health authorities deem necessary, according to the government statement.
Both South Africa and the UK have recorded cases from new variants of the coronavirus, with the UK variant appearing to be more infectious. It is unclear at present how the South African variant differs from what has already been spreading worldwide.