On May 29, 2020, the Ministry of Health published in the Federal Official Gazette the Executive Order that established the Specific Technical Guidelines for the Reopening of Economic Activities (the “Guidelines”), which must be followed for the reopening of the companies, per their essential nature and with the health alert system (“Traffic Light System”), which would be published by the Federal Government.
Since June 1, 2020, the states of Baja California and Sonora have been on a red health alert (maximum risk).
On July 17, 2020, the Federal Government issued a new Traffic Light System and determined that the States of Baja California and Sonora passed from RED (maximum level) to ORANGE (high level) for the week of July 20 to 26, 2020.
EFFECTS OF THE CHANGE TO ORANGE
The ORANGE level has the following effects:
- Essential businesses continue to operate.
- Non-essential businesses may begin to operate with 30% of its personnel.
- At-risk employees may return to work with certain measures, the most important being the following:
- Allow medical examinations to confirm that their medical condition is controlled and that they are in good health.
- More rigorous sanitary measures need to be imposed than those established by the Federal Government in the Guidelines and sanitary documents.
- That they are integrated in a gradual, orderly, and cautious manner, avoiding everyone’s attendance, implementing different schedules.
- Ensure that there are no disrespectful or discriminatory attitudes against them.
- Non-essential businesses must prepare their Health Safety Protocols and comply with the Guidelines for restarting operations, optionally presenting their “Self-evaluation” to secure authorization from IMSS, as well as emphasizing compliance with the Official Mexican Standard NOM-030-SSA2-2009.
POSITION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF BAJA CALIFORNIA
We should point out that the Government of the State of Baja California, on the same day of July 17, 2020, issued a press release informing that Baja California would continue to operate under the RED in the Traffic Light System and that the change to ORANGE will be delayed, being in conflict with what has been established by the Federal Government.
For this reason, before implementing the corresponding changes, companies should consider and evaluate the implications of applying the Guidelines considering the ORANGE traffic light issued by the Federal Government and evaluating the risks that this could imply.
These are our recommendations due to the change to ORANGE:
- Non-essential businesses must prepare their Health Safety Protocols, comply with the Guidelines, and present the “Self-evaluation” to reactivate their activities.
- The return of At-risk employees must be carried out with a strict application of the Guidelines.
- Document the return of vulnerable workers, by signing a letter when they return to work and prepare in the event that the health alert returns to RED.
- Essential and non-essential businesses must be prepared and implement “COVID AUDITS” in order to confirm compliance with all labor and health provisions derived from the COVID-19 health emergency.
Labor and health inspections will be carried out randomly by the State and Federal governments and as a follow-up to the filing of complaints, so it is recommended to prepare and have a protocol for dealing with such inspections to avoid fines and possible temporary closings of companies.
We would be glad to assist you with the documentation of the vulnerable workers that return to work and the “COVID Audits”, as well as clarify any questions you may have related to this matter and any other legal details that may have any implication in your company or organization.
For any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Alejandro Pedrín | firstname.lastname@example.org
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