The conciliatory tone that the tourism sector has maintained to seek options that facilitate the recovery of the sector after the economic collapse caused by the quarantine to stop the coronavirus (Covid-19) seems to be ending.
Yesterday, the Panamanian Association of Hotels (Apatel), made a call to its members not to host any traveler from South America.
The protest measure comes after the Ministry of Health (Health) established that all travelers from the south of the continent have to remain in mandatory quarantine for 5 days, regardless of the result of the PCR test that is practiced in the Tocumen International Airport to detect the presence of the coronavirus
“We call on our members to ensure that their facilities are not loaned to house passengers against their will, or in conditions unacceptable to them. We are accommodation entities, not retention, or detention. The right to choose clients and non-clients must take precedence over any other consideration, ”said the union.
Armando Rodríguez, president of Apatel commented that 100% of the reservations that were planned for Easter days by travelers from South America were canceled, which represented a significant loss for the sector.
"The strongest thing is the image that we are giving to the tourist," he commented.
Yesterday, images of long lines of South American travelers at the Tocumen airport circulated on social media. The administration of the air terminal arranged that a migration control post and one of the posts to take the PCR test would be exclusively to serve these travelers.
In addition to Apatel, other unions such as the Chamber of Tourism of Panama and the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama have requested the repeal of Executive Decree 260 of March 29, 2021 "which establishes measures to enter the national territory to people from from South America".
spokesmen commented that the State will cover with the cost of the 5-day accommodation that each traveler from South America must remain in quarantine.
This situation generates distrust among hoteliers, since they are aware of the delay in payment by the Government with hotels that are used as temporary hospitals for mild coronavirus