The Panamanian Association of Hotels (Apatel) today refused to host passengers against their will and under unacceptable conditions, in reference to regulations imposed by the Government for people from South America.
In a statement published on its twitter account, the union reiterated the request to repeal the Executive Decree that establishes that all travelers from that region must bring a negative Covid-19 test 48 hours before their arrival in the national territory. .
The norm also contemplates that after their arrival, whether by air, sea or land, travelers must undergo a new compulsory examination at their own cost and if positive, they are confined in a hospital hotel to perform isolation and follow the treatment of in accordance with the sanitary protocols established by the isthmus nation.
'Under the pretext of isolating Panama from the covid-19 strain with the Brazilian variant,' the health authorities' have isolated the country from fourteen (14) South American countries and imposed draconian and unnecessary restrictions on the normal flow of passengers and visitors', refers to the text quoted by Prensa Latina.
In its message to the union members, Apatel assured that 'we are accommodation entities, not retention or detention. The right to choose clients and non-clients must take precedence over any other consideration. '
He also called on the hotels that still have agreements with State institutions to house patients with covid-19, medical and security personnel, not to authorize a use other than the one signed in the contracts, because only then can they prevent and protect themselves from possible legal claims derived from the application of Executive Decree 260.
The resolution, classified as unconsulted and detrimental to the image of the country by hoteliers and businessmen in the tourism sector, establishes that travelers are obliged to quarantine for five days at their home or hotel, even if the test is negative.
After that time, the Ministry of Health will carry out a new examination to rule out the disease or the presence of symptoms, the text specifies.
Given the appearance in Panama of the P1 and P2 variants of SARS-CoV-2, the cause of Covid-19, the health authority recommended that the population not travel to any country in South America and, if necessary, take into account the new provisions .
Last week, the director of the Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies, Juan Miguel Pascale, confirmed the community transmission in the Central American nation of these strains, detected for the first time in Brazil, which have the particularity of being more contagious, virulent, pathogenic and communicable, even among young people.