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Clarification of Required Identity Documents for Foreigners (Including Those With Permanent Residency Status) During the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Moderator comment: It is important that all (repeat ALL) non-Panamanian persons read and understand the significance of the last paragraph, and especially the last sentence of this news article. This information has been resurrected as a separate topic so that it does not get lost in the volumes of information regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. Read and heed!

It is our current understanding that a cédula (not sure about a carnet/jubilado card) will typically suffice when ID documents are requested by an officer, but in the off chance of more restrictive enforcement of quarantine hours (or perhaps a cranky officer, rare here) that it would be prudent to have ready access to at least a copy of your passport (such as in your vehicle, not necessarily in a purse or wallet). It is also our current understanding a copy of your passport is acceptable.

We are not providing legal advice here.

Highlighting in the below article added by the Moderator.

The word "travel" in this article apparently refers to domestic mobility, and not specifically only to international travel.

We have been told by some friends residing in the Panama City area that this ID document requirement has been cited several times on the television news reports. The reporters emphasized the phrase "No Exceptions." On the other hand, we have heard of no untoward enforcement incidents as of this writing.

Not trying to be alarmist here, but it is better to be informed and prepared.

In order to help focus on the relevant section of this news article, we are putting a translated extract of the last paragraph next. If you wish to see the entire original article in Spanish and/or the complete translation, then keep scrolling down.



The foreigners

What will the mobility of foreigners be like? It is one of the most recurring questions. The Ministry of Security, through the National Immigration Service, which is headed by Samira Gozaine, reported in a brief statement "that all foreigners in the national territory may use the last number of their passport issued by their respective country for their departure."

This measure includes foreigners with permanent residence or not. In other words, everyone must carry a passport in order to travel.




Próximo paso: medidas severas contra el virus

Desde hoy, el toque de queda será de 5 p.m. a 5 a.m. Pero la cuarentena total sigue en la ecuación de las autoridades.
Aminta Bustamante - Eliana Morales Gil
24 mar 2020 - 12:00 AM
Uno de los primeros en aplicar la medida fue el Riba Smith de Costa del Este, en la capital. Más adelante se unieron otros más, sobretodo cuando las autoridades de salud día a día anunciaban el incremento de los casos por el nuevo coronavirus en Panamá.
Pero, las alarmas se terminaron de activar cuando el pasado domingo 22 de marzo el ministro de Seguridad Pública, Juan Pino, informó que aplicarían medidas “más enérgicas”.


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Dear Moderator 2, the initial translation to English and subsequent use the term "may" for use of the passport last number. Both are permissive in nature. The only absolute statement is the comment in "red", when it says "everyone must". So the question is who made the final comment, the government or a reporter. I suspect this should be run by the US Embassy or the competent Panamanian official for this requirement. Not that it is an issue carrying a passport or copy, just obtain clarification. 

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