May 28, 2020

Mexico’s Health Alert “Stoplight” System and High-Risk Employees


As part of Mexico’s Strategy for Reopening Social, Educational and Economic Activities and the Health Alert Stoplight System implemented by the Mexican Ministry of Health, the federal government published on May 18, 2020 Technical Guidelines for Health Safety in the Workplace (hereinafter “the Guidelines”). The Guidelines enable high-risk employees to return to work, provided that certain protective measures are implemented.

In accordance with Mexico’s Health Alert Stoplight System, high-risk employees may return to work in the following stages:

  • Red (maximum level): Employees are forbidden to go to work under any circumstances.
  • Orange (high level): Employees may return to work provided specific security measures are implemented.
  • Yellow (medium level): Employees may work if specific security measures are implemented.
  • Green (low level): No special measures are required for employees to return to work, but employers must use extra caution.
In regions subject to high and medium alerts, remote work (“home office”) is recommended. However, if high-risk employees must return to work, the following measures should be taken if such are possible:

• Medical consultations should be conducted to evaluate control and treatment of employee health conditions;
• High-risk employees should be identified by department or area;
• Employers must issue personal protection equipment and alcohol-based gel solutions to employees;
• The density of employees must be reduced and distancing must be increased to guarantee distances of at least 1.5 meters between employees;
• Start times must be staggered to prevent employees from congregating; and
• Exclusive areas must be designated in dining rooms and dressing rooms, or different shifts must be offered.

A committee or responsible company representative must be assigned to guarantee compliance with the security measures set forth above.

Importantly, some Mexican states have published their own protocols and guidelines, which may differ from the Guidelines published by the Federal Government in relation to high-risk employees described herein. Therefore, it is important to review applicable local ordinances, decrees and publications before requesting high-risk employees to return to work.

Contact Information:

Felipe Chapula | fchapula@ccn-law.com.mx
Mario Melgar | mmelgar@ccn-law.com
Javier Zapata | jzapata@ccn-law.com.mx