The Director of the General Directorate of Seafarers, Captain Juan Maltez, declared that “The Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) has been able to process the repatriation of some 3,690 passengers and crew members from around the world, including Panamanians that were on board different kinds of ships within Panamanian waters since last March. In dealing with the world sanitary emergency caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19), this was all performed with the endorsement, supervision and criteria of the Ministry of Health of Panama (MINSA).

The 25 Panamanians who arrived to Dock 6 of the Panama Ports Company are in full health. They were on the Caribbean Princess Cruise from the Princess Cruises Company, —part of the Carnival Line Group—, who in order to comply with the repatriation of their crew members of diverse nationalities, were coming from different Caribbean islands, where the company performed the transshipment of various ships in early March. There were only crew members on board, no passenger had to be transshipped.

Before arriving to Panama, the ship must register in the VUMPA and offer a declaration of maritime sanity answering a list of questions and requirements. The Captain of the ship should also sign and certify that they are free of Coronavirus (COVID-19), taking into consideration that the crew onboard also complied with protocols such as: individual room lodging, use of mandatory masks while leaving their cabins and the recording of temperature twice a day kept by the medical personnel onboard.

It is important to indicate that all performed operations, are supervised by the Ministry of Health of Panama, in compliance with the established sanitary protocol. Each crew member goes through evaluation and afterwards they will enter into a 14-day quarantine.

Director Maltez concluded saying that “The PMA shall keep on collaborating with our Panamanian seafarers and with the national and international maritime sector, like we have done it from the beginning of the pandemic with the support offered to the Zaandam and Rotterdam Cruises, demonstrating the world a great logistic capacity that let us offer concrete solutions on record time, allowing the salvage of passengers and crew members, a contribution acknowledged and praised worldwide”.

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