On May 14, 2020, the Ministry of Health published in the Federal Official Gazette (DOF) the “Executive order to establish a strategy for the reopening of social, educational and economic activities, a traffic-light style indicator by regions to evaluate in a weekly manner the epidemiological risk related to the reopening of activities in each federal entity, and extraordinary actions” (the “Executive Order”).
Today, the Ministry of Health published in the DOF certain modifications to the Executive Order.
Here under you will find a summary of the Executive Order and its modifications:
The Executive Order establishes the strategy for the reopening of activities in a gradual, orderly, and cautious manner, in three phases:
- Phase 1. Starting on May 18, 2020, with the reopening of activities in the municipalities in which no cases of Covid-19 have been detected and that, additionally, do not border with municipalities who have had cases of Covid-19;
- Phase 2. Starting on May 18, 2020, and concluding on May 31, 2020. It consists of carrying out actions of general applications aimed at preparing for the reopening of all types of activities (development of health protocols, training of personnel for safety in the work environment, readjustment of spaces and production processes, implementation of entry filters, sanitation, and hygiene of the workspace, among others that may be determined by the Ministry of Health); and
- Phase 3. Starting on June 1, 2020. It provides a traffic-light style indicator by regions of the country for the reopening of social, educational, and economic activities, as referred further below.
- The Executive Order also provides that the construction industry, mining, and activities related to the manufacture of transportation equipment, will be considered essential activities, thereby allowing companies engaged in such activities to resume work on June 1, 2020, in accordance with the following conditions:
- The period to prepare for the reopening of their activities commences on May 18, 2020. During this period, the companies must present their health protocols, which must be prepared in accordance with the general guidelines of the Ministries of Health, Economy, and Labor and Social Welfare.
- The presentation, application, and approval of the above-mentioned protocols may take place at the same time that the companies carry out the actions necessary to be prepared to resume their activities.
- From May 18 to June 1, 2020, the process will be carried out to establish such protocols and the mechanism of health security in accordance with the guidelines published by the Ministry of Health in coordination with the Ministries of Economy, Labor and Social Welfare, as well as in coordination with the Mexican Institute of Social Security.
- If the referred process is concluded and approved before June 1, 2020, the companies may commence their operations on such date.
- In the event that the companies do not comply with the foregoing, the authority shall proceed to the closure of the companies that place the health of their employees at risk.
- With regard to the companies of the automotive and auto parts industries engaged in the exportation of their products, in addition to the above-stated, the companies will also need to observe the protocols required in their countries of origin.
- Additionally, the Executive Order states that as of May 18, 2020, municipalities in which no cases of Covid-19 have been detected and that, additionally, do not border with municipalities who have had cases of Covid-19, may resume school activities, mobilization in public spaces, closed or open, as well as essential and non-essential work activities. The Ministry of Health, no later than May 17, 2020, will announce the list of such municipalities. Likewise, the Ministry of Health, in coordination with the health authorities of each State, will establish specific Covid-19 prevention and control measures for such municipalities.
What do we suggest that companies should consider during the planning stage of such a reopening strategy?
- Companies should reinforce and maintain up-to-date documents evidencing the same as essential companies to avoid partial closure in the event that the authority decrees a red traffic light phase.
- Companies should be prepared to receive inspections from labor and health authorities seeking confirmation that said companies are in full compliance with the general labor conditions with their employees, and that said companies have duly documented all labor agreements entered with their employees deriving from the pandemic.
- Companies must implement action protocols, including protocols for the implementation of health measures and for the mitigation of risks of contagion, as well as assistance protocols in the event of infections and contagions of employees.
- Companies engaged in the construction industry, mining, and those activities related to the manufacture of transportation equipment must document their activities and prepare the documents evidencing the same as a company with an essential activity. This is in order to avoid closure in the event that the authority decrees a red traffic light phase.
- Companies should remain vigilant of the preventive measures and of the health regulations that are issued by the Ministry of Health in coordination with each State government.
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