Here is the latest ACS Message from the U.S. Embassy in Panama City.
Today 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 currently plans to close down the Cinta Costera from 1:00pm Friday, February 13th until 12:00n Wednesday February 18th. The maps below show information regarding access to, and flow of, the event. More information is available from www.visitpanama.gov or local media outlets.
Remember as you travel to and from the event, traffic is likely to be heavy and rerouted. Be cognizant particularly in potentially high-crime areas such as:
Plaza 5 de Mayo, Avenida B, Avenida Cuba, Avenida Peru, and Avenida Central
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.
For those traveling to the Interior, also keep in mind the following:
*Make sure you get enough sleep before driving long hours.
*Hantavirus and Dengue have been confirmed in some areas.
*Remember to bring mosquito repellent.
*File a travel locator with RSO and make sure you leave a copy of your keys and alarm code with someone who can access your residence in an emergency.
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.