Following is the latest ACS message.
Friday, February 5, 2016 starts the annual Carnival celebration in Panama. This event is observed in Panama City and many towns throughout the country. While it is intended to be a fun celebration, it can also result in road closures and increased opportunity for crime. The American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Panama would like to draw your attention to the following information:
Currently available information indicates that The Government of Panama plans to close down the Cinta Costera from 1:00pm Friday, February 5th until Wednesday February 10th. More information is available from www.visitpanama.gov or local media outlets. The PNP will establish checkpoints on the main entrances to the Carnival area. In addition, SINAPROC, PNP, SENAFRONT, and SENAN are deploying units all over the country, including beach areas and cities such as Las Tables, Penonomé, Aguadulce, La Villa de los Santos, and Santiago.
Remember as you travel to and from the event, traffic is likely to be heavy and rerouted.
Avoid drawing attention to yourself and thereby increasing your chances of becoming a target for crime:
· Do not wear expensive jewelry or hand-carry cameras.
· Avoid displaying large amounts of money. Keep cash in separate locations on your person.
· We recommend not carrying large bags, purses, etc.
· Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
· Use sunscreen.
For up-to-date information on security, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov. Further information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Panama are encouraged to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in case of an emergency.