Saturday, Dec 09, 2023

Zona Libre de Colón

Cabinet approves new dates for the opening of economic activities as of September 7

The Cabinet Council of Panama approved this Tuesday several dates for the opening of new economic activities starting next Monday, September 7, complying with the biosafety measures, required by the Ministry of Health (Minsa) in the so-called new normal.

The approved dates are part of the Updated National-Provincial Reopening Plan presented by the Minister of Commerce and Industries (MICI), Ramón Martínez, based on biosafety indicators such as the rate of effective reproduction of cases and the capacity of beds available to national level, both for wards, and for Respiratory and Intensive Care Units.

Among the new activities that will be opened are:

September 7:

 - Construction industry and related activities (engineers, architects, project managers, contractors, moving and hauling services)
 - Panama Pacific Special Economic Area
 - Colon Free Zone and free zones
 - Private marinas and sport fishing
 - Tailors, dressmakers and shoe stores
 - Car wash

September 14:

 - Mobility restriction by gender is lifted
 - Curfew will be from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am from Monday to Saturday, total quarantine on Sunday
 - Safe conduct are without effect, except for companies that due to their economic activity require the mobility of their employees during curfew hours.

September 21:

 - Federation sports activities (without public)

September 28:

 - Retail trade (face-to-face)
 - Restaurants and inns (face-to-face)
 - Professional services pending to open
 - Administrative and general services
 - National aviation
 - Family activities at the beach, rivers and natural parks (by province)
 - Racetracks (no public)

October 12:

 - Curfew is lifted, including Sunday
 - International aviation
 - Hotels, motels, rural hostels, lodging sites and complementary services
 - Tourist activities, non-essential transportation
 - Creative and cultural industries, music and art academies
 - Libraries
 - Swimming pools
 - National Charity Lottery

Date pending:

 - Schools, colleges, universities and third level institutions (face-to-face)
 - Maternity, kindergarten and CAIPI
 - Enclosed cinemas, theaters, galleries and tourist sites
 - Gyms
 - Children's amusement rooms
 - Casinos
 - Bars, canteens, gardens, discos and the like
 - Congresses, concerts, fairs, patrons, carnivals, parades, processions and other activities

This plan is the result of the consensus achieved, after a month and a half of coordinated work with the Health Advisory Council and the private sector, and is conditioned on compliance with the health indicators and protocols established by the authorities, said Minister Martínez.

Economic activities in Panama were suspended in March and for the gradual reopening of businesses, the National Government divided them into six blocks and the Minsa established the following guidelines for the return to normality: companies must comply with protocols such as the organization of a special health and hygiene committee, apply measures among its collaborators and clients such as hand washing, use of alcoholic gel, use of masks, physical distance of at least two meters between people, cleaning and disinfection of areas.

As part of the new normality, on May 13 the opening of the first block of activities began, which included home retail sales, fishing and technical services; On June 1, the second block was opened, which includes the construction of prioritized public infrastructure, non-metallic mining, industry and places of worship, parks, sports areas and social areas; and last August 17, the reactivation of activities related to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), public and private works with significant progress in execution, beauty parlors and barber shops; retail stores and car sales companies.

In addition, on July 27, the provinces of Los Santos, Herrera and Coclé opened activities related to the sale of cars, restaurants, private construction and the release of professional and administrative services due to the low incidence of cases that they have registered those provinces.

Likewise, the Controlled Operations Center was established for the interconnection of International Commercial Aviation in early August, which allows connecting flights or in transit, from or to the Tocumen Airport.

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