By: José Díaz, Daniel Gutiérrez and Eumir Quintero
March 31st 2020 Addenda (Federal Government’s clarification) to the Second Decree declaring emergency measures for the COVID-19 pandemic.
It encourages the immediate suspension of non-essential activities between March 30th and April 30th 2020, in order to mitigate the dispersion and transmission of the virus designated as SARS-CoV2 within Mexican territory:
- The only activities that can be considered essential are the following:
- Essential to directly attend the health emergency such as medical, paramedical, administration of the Health sector, its suppliers and service providers, especially pharmaceutical manufacturing, its distribution and retail, medical supplies and equipment manufacturing and any technology to provide medical services, as well as the disposal of biological waste, and the cleaning and sanitization of medical clinics and hospitals as a whole.
- Related to public safety and citizenry protection, defense of the homeland and sovereignty, enforcement and administration of justice and the legislative activity at the federal, state and municipal levels.
- Related to fundamental sectors of the economy such as financial, tax collection, distribution and sale of fuels, gas and electricity, generation and distribution of water, food, non-alcoholic beverages, supermarkets, grocery retail stores, food preparation, transportation of merchandise and passengers, agricultural, fishery, meat & poultry, agro-industry, chemical industry, cleaning products, hardware stores, parcel delivery, private security services, childcare, telecommunication, media, private emergency services, mortuary services, storage, cold storage systems, logistics (airports, ports and railroads), and any other whose interruption could irreversibly affect the continuance of the activity.
- The activities related directly to social programs administered by the Government.
- Any activities necessary for the conservation, maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure such as potable water, electrical energy, gas, oil, fuels, necessary sanitation, public transportation, hospital & medical infrastructure, and any others that “could be enlisted in this category”.
- It enunciates social distancing rules:
- Definition of non-essential activities. The entire population residing in the territory (including anyone entering the country from abroad and that is not working in essential activities as defined in section 1 above) is encouraged to responsibly lock-in-place at a place of residence (“resguardo domiciliario”), from March 30th to April 30th 2020. Residential lock-in-place is defined as the voluntary limitation of mobility at a place of residence or another type of space separate from public space for the longest time possible.
- Residential lock-in-place shall be strict in the case of anyone aged 60 years or over, anyone pregnant or on immediate maternity leave, anyone diagnosed with high blood-pressure, diabetes, chronic cardiac or pulmonary disease, acquired or provoked immunosuppression, chronic kidney or hepatic conditions.
- Once the health emergency is over, the Health, Labor and Economy Ministries should issue guidelines for the orderly and regionalized return to work, and the economic and social activities of the population of Mexico.
- Face-to-face 2020 Census activity is suspended in Mexico.
- All measures should be taken with the strict adherence to human rights of all individuals.
In summary… (Recommendations)
- The sanitary emergency and the general suspension or interruption of labor relations and activities in non-essential companies have been decreed (formal declaration duly sanctioned by the President of the Republic).
- Current labor conditions are extended until April 30th 2020.
- Companies with essential activities will be able to continue working normally, as long as they continue observing the mitigation measures of the spread of the infection that they already know and those are:
- Identify “vulnerable” employees, who must remain at home with salary payment.
- Implement or update preventive health measures within the company.
- Avoid meetings of groups larger than 50 people within the company.
- For non-essential companies, the obligation is the suspension of labor relations, with the probability of possible payment of salary. In case of not closing, economic sanctions may be applied.
- With the declaration of a health emergency, the Mexican Federal Government supposedly may decree the “Health contingency with the suspension of work” and thus payment of a minimum wage to workers would start from that date.
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