Government contradicts itself on access to beaches

Yesterday (Jan 16) Sinaproc announced "a red flag" prohibiting beach access in Panama and Panama West until March 15, and in Herrera until February 1. Today Minsa followed up with a similar statement.

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) expressed via their Twitter account that in Panama and West Panama, as well as Herrera, beaches, parks, and rivers would remain closed. 

Despite this, Executive Decree 62, signed by the head of the Minsa, Luis Sucre, and the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, made it clear that beaches rivers, and parks would be closed, only on days of total quarantine (weekends).

With that it was assumed, access and use of beaches, rivers, was permitted in Panama, Panama Oeste, Herrera, Coclé, Los Santos, and Veraguas by the letter of this written document... which is still enforced, and yet to be ameneded. 

 La Prensa - Government contradicts itself on access to beaches

According to the article above, published this morning by La Prensa, authorities have entered into a "series of contradictions" regarding access to beaches in the country with announcements, statements, and decrees that have created confusion among the population.

Here is a breakdown, by date, of the reopening beaches in Panama announcements: 

January 12 -  authorities reported beaches were closed until March 15.

January 13 -  Executive Decree No. 62 is signed laying out the prohibitions for the provinces of Panama, Panama Oeste, Coclé, Herrera, Los Santos, and Veraguas.  Stating, "during the days of total quarantine (Saturday & Sunday), access and use of parks, squares, stadiums, gyms, and open areas, as well as beaches, rivers, and public spas is prohibited." In other words, from Monday to Friday there seemed to be a green light for the beaches. 

January 15 - A statement, alleging for "health reasons", the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc) issed a red flag until  March 15, 2021. It prohibits bathing on the beaches and rivers, in the provinces of Panama and West Panama.

Confusion in Panama follows contradictory statements 

La Prensa spoke to this confusion on the beach opening in Panama in their article. Saying "the confusion on the subject, marked by the fact that a communiqué cannot annul a decree, continued yesterday (Friday). However, Executive Decree No. 62 had not been amended (as of Sat. Jan 16).