Following the acknowledgement by the General Health Council (Consejo de Salubridad General) of COVID-19 as a serious disease of priority attention in Mexico, on March 24, 2020, it was published in the evening edition of the Federal Official Gazette, the agreement by which the Ministry of Health set forth the preventive measures to be implemented for the mitigation and control of health risks involved by the SARS-CoV2 virus (COVID-19).
We include herein below a list of the most relevant preventive measures and, where appropriate, the legal implications thereof. It should be noted that the subjects bound by these measures are both citizens and authorities, and that their purpose is to create social distance to prevent the spread of the disease:
a) To prevent adults over 65 years old and groups of people at risk of developing serious illness and/or dying from it from attending workplaces, public spaces and other crowded places.
The groups considered by the Agreement to be at risk of developing serious illness and/or dying from it are pregnant or nursing women, children under 5 years of age, persons with disabilities, persons with chronic non-communicable diseases (high blood pressure, pulmonary disease, kidney failure, lupus, cancer, diabetes mellitus, obesity, liver or metabolic failure, heart disease), or with any condition or drug treatment that suppresses their immune system.
The above-mentioned individuals who are unable to attend their workplaces by virtue of these preventive measures shall continue to receive their salary and other benefits set forth in the applicable laws.
It is important to clarify that the Agreement cannot be considered as a health contingency decree that implies the suspension of work, since it expressly sets forth that labor relations shall be maintained and applied in accordance with the individual, collective agreements, agreements with contract-law status, or the relevant general labor conditions, during the term of the Agreement.
In sum, the issuance of this Agreement does not authorize employers to apply the provisions of section IV of article 429 of the Federal Labor Law, i.e., employers cannot suspend their labor relations by paying their employees only a compensation equivalent to one day of the in force general minimum wage for each day of the suspension.
b) Temporary suspension of: (i) school activities at all levels until April 17; (ii) mass events and meetings and congregations of more than 100 persons; and (iii) activities of the public, social and private sectors involving physical concentration, transit or movement of persons from March 24 to April 19.
For these effects, as published in the DOF, plans must be implemented to guarantee the continuity of operations for the fulfillment of essential functions related to the mitigation and control of health risks.
In this way, as far as the private sector is concerned, the Agreement provides that companies, businesses, commercial establishments and all those that may be necessary to face the contingency, such as hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, laboratories, medical services, financial services, telecommunications, and information media, hotel and restaurant services, gas stations, markets, supermarkets, transportation and gas distribution services will continue to work, if they are not located in closed spaces involving agglomerations.
To determine whether any of our clients or business partners are forced to close their establishments under the provisions of this Agreement, it will be important to analyze the specific situation and, if applicable, the eventual possibility of suspending the fulfillment of certain obligations without liability during the term of the relevant Agreement.
c) Comply with the basic hygiene measures established in the Jornada Nacional de Sana Distancia.
d) Any other measures that may be determined as necessary by the Ministry of Health, which will be made known to the general population.
Cannizzo will monitor all the measures that from time to time will be decreed by the competent authorities to keep you up to date.
If you have any questions or comments about this communication, please do not hesitate to contact any of our partners or associates.
Cannizzo, Ortiz y Asociados, S.C.