he Panamanian authorities have announced new measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the territory, which include mobility restrictions in some provinces beginning January 14th, as well as a phased reopening of some business activities and new labor measures aimed at tackling the ongoing pandemic.
Health Minister Luis Francisco Sucre announced that starting January 14 freedom of movement will be restricted between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. and stated these measures will remain in place depending on the development of the ongoing pandemic.
Moreover, Trade and Industry Minister Ramón Martínez said the resumption of lottery and horse racing operations (without public) has been postponed to March 1st, while casinos and other gambling facilities will be allowed to reopen on March 15th.
"We are going through the most difficult time in this pandemic, and we need everyone’s support to keep moving forward in the reopening of business activities and in building a better Panama," Martínez said.
Labor Minister Doris Zapata said the ongoing pandemic has forced authorities to take exceptional measures to promote social peace and keep working environments safe, bearing always in mind that "there are no companies without workers and no workers without companies."
"We have looked for social and legal alternatives to protect our citizens, peace on the streets, and social justice," Zapata said, making reference to the suspension of some employees until January 31, 2021.
Executive order 231 allows for a “labor hibernation” under which companies are able to reactivate in the face of an economic recovery, so national authorities have decided to extend such executive order until February 2021 to guarantee social and economic aid for suspended employees.