April 23, 2020

Mexico extends extraordinary measures to address the COVID-19 Health Emergency


On April 21, 2020, Mexico published an amended Decree in the Official Journal of the Federation amending the March 31st decree and ordering the suspension of non-essential activities until May 30, 2020.

The Decree does not amend the criteria for determining which activities are considered essential.  It explicitly states that all measures set forth in the prior decree, such as social distancing and the suspension of non-essential activities, shall continue in place until a decree is issued declaring that the health emergency has concluded. Notwithstanding this fact, beginning May 18, 2020, the suspension of activities will be lifted for non-essential activities in municipalities with a low or non-existent virus transmission rate, but the details of such are yet to be determined.

The Mexican Ministry of Health is charged with determining the criteria to be used to evaluate the intensity of transmission.  Based on such criteria, state governments will be responsible for implementing local guidelines to reduce the movement of people between municipalities with different degrees of contagion, meaning travel between municipalities with low or no Covid-19 cases and those with a high rate of contagion. The state governments shall then report to the Mexican Health Ministry regarding compliance with the ordered measures.

It is important to highlight that the Decree does not declare a “health contingency”.  Therefore, the status quo is maintained as a “health emergency”. Accordingly, the guidelines for the payment of wages during the suspension have not changed and labor inspections will continue to occur under the existing guidelines. As such, we recommend that agreements entered into by employers and their employees with respect to wages be amended to extend the terms of such agreements until May 30, 2020.

Strategies for recommencing operations and force majeure letters that were previously issued should also be revised and updated in accordance with the new Decree, taking into consideration the extended the term ordered for extraordinary measures.

Click here to read an English translation of the Decree.

Contact information:

Joseph B. Newton | jnewton@ccn-law.com
Felipe Chapula | fchapula@ccn-law.com.mx
Mario Melgar | mmelgar@ccn-law.com