(PANAMA) Mobility schedule could be extended

Some 100,000 more people could be on the streets as of Monday, due to the announced reopening of new economic activities, while there is also consideration of extending the mobility hours of men and women, where there are restrictions.

This was announced by the Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Omar Montilla, this Sunday, August 16, in the Open Debate program.

“Among the commercial activities at a national level and the projects that are going to be reactivated, we are talking about around one hundred thousand people who could be on the streets” as of this Monday, said Montilla.

Photo: Adrienn

“We have given authorization so that from this Monday NGOs can begin work on the administrative side, because some were already giving support to the Panama Solidarity Plan, barbershops, beauty salons, which are adequate, which have acrylics, temperature measurement at the entrance, 50% of employees who have their pass, because since Thursday August 13 began the process of validating the Ministry of Commerce pass so they can move from work to their homes and vice versa.

Also authorized are the sales of cars in general, new and second hand cars, the subject also of other activities such as retail trade, and more than 80 construction projects.

In the case of beauty salons, where there is a debate over whether they can afford to spend two hours on the road to get certain treatments, while others ask if barbershops are only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays because these are the days when men are allowed to travel, Montilla said that if there is good behavior, they are considering extending the hours of travel.

“At the moment there is a total closure of this type of activity. We have framed these activities in a pilot plan. We are studying the possibility of extending the time people will be able to travel,” she said.

However, he clarified that at this time they have followed the recommendations of the Ministry of Health. “We have to look at the issue of biosecurity and the issue of health, where they tell us that for now we have to stick to women’s days, to women’s days and men’s days, to men’s days in their proper time.

“A woman who is going to have a dye job is supposed to take more than two hours. Then, there is also the possibility that she can go a little earlier through her appointment, and that they can have the access to make the treatment they want (since the operator will be dedicated only to her). It is important to emphasize that they will have the opportunity of the 50% capacity that the beauty parlor or barbershop has so that there is no overcrowding,” he said.

He reiterated that “we must do things right, so that this will work”.

He said that “in two weeks we may be reviewing whether to basically extend the hours that can be given to both men and women.

He warned that what is not wanted is what happened when they opened Block 2, that the issue of validation of the passes was eliminated and everyone went out on the street and basically had to restrict the entry of some activities in Block 3 that are now being taken over.

“And that’s why we’ve stopped talking about blocks, we’re talking about commercial activities, so that we can check some that are in the next blocks and that one way or another we can give the opportunity to open at this time,” said Montilla.

She clarified that the aesthetics and spa can not yet open. It has not been taken to the economic table yet. “The important thing is that each commercial activity can be presented with its protocol as required by the Ministry of Health.

“We have not given a date for the opening of the casinos, but that industry invited us to see that they are complying with all the standards, the distance measures, and with everything that is required for their opening. We have also been invited by the shopping malls. Then, we give the message to the commercial activities, so that they can invite us to see how they are adapting to the new normality and that we can be raising at the economic table the opening of other activities, those that are ready with all the measures,” explained the vice minister.


As for access to the mall from this Monday, August 17, warned that will be controlled.

“At this moment people are not going to be allowed to enter the stores so that they can verify all the merchandise,” said the deputy minister of Commerce to the television program.

“In the week that has just passed we have been making inspections in some shopping centers that have been adapting the entrances to the accesses to the stores that in one way or another will be able to provide the services in doors. They will also be able to provide the delivery service, as was done through e-commerce, which is a modality that has been implemented basically in all shops,” he explained.

They will also have the option of making deliveries in the parking lots of the shopping centers.


“The buyer will have to make his purchase through online catalogues. Pay also through bank transfers, credit cards, or the modality that the commercial entity has,” explained Montilla.

Then, “when the buyer comes to the mall he must take, either by phone his electronic invoice that indicates that he has made a purchase in a certain establishment and the security of the mall will allow them to pass expeditiously to enter to collect their goods at the door.

He clarified that at this time will not allow people to enter the stores to check all the goods, but they have paid and will only withdraw.

“We have also authorized the modality that they can make deliveries in the parking lots, because there are people who will not want to enter the mall, they will be afraid, then they will be able to withdraw in the parking lots; or in the delivery system for home delivery,” he said.

“What we do not want at the moment is a shopping tourism, that people enter, sit on the benches to think, enter one and another store, that will not exist at this time,” he reiterated.

As for the construction, he confirmed that 84 resolutions of the Ministry of Health have been approved, of authorizations of projects, some public and private, which are in the phase of 98% of advance.

Author: Martha Vanessa Concepción, MiDiario