Corona virus in Panama / update 29 October 2020

The streets of Panama City are noisy again, which is a good indicator for the recovering economy of Panama. The international airport has been reopened for tourism, all economic sectors are on the rise and the spirit among the population has improved. This is due to the extensive opening after the months-long lockdown in Panama and the improving corona figures. The second corona wave is declining and a German vaccine is already being tested on first patients in Panama.

Health (figures as of 27 October 2020)

  • There are currently 130.422 cases and 2.650 deaths.
  • The R-value is 0.92 and has fallen continuously in recent weeks.
  • The mortality rate is 2.0% (global average 2,7%).
  • Currently, 80% of the test capacity of Germany is performed per capita.
  • The percentage of positive tests has fallen from 35% (July) to currently about 10%.
  • The intensive care beds have never been fully occupied.
  • Curevac from Germany is testing its corona vaccine in Panama.
  • The graph shows the weekly development of new infections and the test positive rate (curve). The strong increase in June began with the opening of the first economic sectors.


  • All economic sectors are reopened.
  • Consumer confidence is rising, as shown by a survey of the chambers of commerce.
  • According to the government there will be no tax increases due to the Corona pandemic. This distinguishes Panama from many neighboring countries where many millionaires leave their homes to move to locations like Panama and protect their assets (info link to the Bloomberg report). New investor visas are offered for this purpose.
  • The Panama Canal ended its fiscal year (September 30) with a 1.2% increase in turnover compared to the previous year. For the new fiscal year, a decrease in sales of 10% is expected. The better than expected developing economies of the USA and China give hope for a faster recovery. Thanks to water saving measures and rainfall, the canal has reached its highest water level again.
  • A new multi-billion-dollar water project on the Panama Canal, the construction of the Metro Line 3 and four other major investment projects for public works are expected to boost the economy again.
  • The copper mine, one of the largest worldwide, is running at full production (info link).
  • According to the World Bank, Panama’s economy will shrink by 8.1% in 2020 and recover by 5.3% in 2021. In 2020, unemployment may rise up to 20 – 25% in the short term (in 2019: 7%).

Life in Panama

  • Currently there is only a curfew from 11.00pm – 05.00am.

Travel to Panama

  • Since 12.10. the international airport of Panama City is open again.
  • 80 flights to 36 cities and 20 countries are operated daily.
  • Travellers must present a corona negative test (max. 48 hours old) or can take a quick test (results after 20-30min) for 50 USD directly at the airport in Panama. If this test is positive, the person will be quarantined in Panama.
  • According to current surveys (125 hotels) 36% of the hotels will reopen in October and another 32% by the end of the year. The rest would like to reopen in the new year and 1 hotel will close permanently.


Klaus Happ’s company “FRAPAN-Invest” advises investors who want to invest in real estate in Panama. He offers advice on all aspects of living in Panama.

The real estate market in Panama is internationally one of the most interesting for investments. We would like to be your trusted local partner and assist you with the initial purchase. Additionally, we can take care of your real estate in Panama in a sustainable way.

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