Carnival Closures, Reversals and Restrictions

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With Panama Carnival 2020 right around the corner, Panama City authorities have announced road closures, lane reversals and restricted activities in preparation for the celebration. The Cinta Costera, also known as the city’s main artery, will be closed for the long weekend, and lanes will be opened and closed to expedite traffic in and out of town.

Cinta Costera closures

The three outside lanes the Cinta Costera along Avenida Balboa will be closed starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 20 from 29th street to 3rd of November street. At noon, all lanes will be closed from Ecuador Avenue to the Maracaná Stadium. The party starts at 8 p.m. with the crowning of the carnival queen and carries on through Tuesday night. The Cinta Costera opens back up to vehicular traffic at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

Lane reversals towards the interior

  • Friday, Feb. 21 at 3 p.m – three lanes from the bridge of the Americas to Howard; four lanes from Howard to Arraiján Cabecera; three lanes from La Espiga de La Chorrera to Campana.
  • Saturday, Feb. 22 at 6 a.m. – three lanes from the Arraiján – La Chorrera old toll road to Campana and from Sajalices to San José, San Carlos.
  • Sunday Feb. 23 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. –  three lanes from La Espiga de La Chorrera to Campana and from Santa Cruz to Punta Barco.

Lane reversals towards the city

  • Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 12 p.m. – three lanes from San José to Sajalices and from Campana to La Espiga de La Chorrera.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – three lanes from Las Uvas in El Valle de Antón to Sajalices and from Campana to La Espiga de La Chorrera.

Metro hours and restrictions

The Panama Metro will have its own set of restrictions and modified service hours during the festivities. Passengers under the influence and/or wearing wet clothes will not be allowed to enter the stations.  Coolers will also be prohibited.

The schedule for both Metro Line 1 and Line 2 is as follows:

  • Saturday, Feb. 22 from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 23 from 7 a.m. to 10 pm.
  • Monday, Feb. 24 from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 7 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 26 back to 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Carnival bans

Authorities have announced a series of restrictions to help keep the party safe.  These include but are not limited to:

  • No immoral acts on Carnival stages and grounds
  • No alcohol in coolers or glass containers
  • No sale of cigarettes, tobacco or lighters
  • No fireworks
  • No sharp objects or firearms
  • No promiscuous clothing (although this has since opened a can of worms)
  • No pregnant women or unaccompanied minors in the culecos
  • No child laborers
  • No street vendors
  • No meat on a stick
  • No police or fireman costumes

Police also recommend that children 5 years and younger carry an identity card and be accompanied by their parents.

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