A Notice issued by the Minister of Health was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation of May 14 of the present year; the objective of this notice is to define the strategy for resuming social, educational and economic activities in the country and establishing a traffic light system by regions in order to conduct weekly evaluations of the epidemiological risk relating to the resumption of activities in each state, in addition to the implementation of extraordinary measures.
The Notice covers the gradual resumption of activities, considering three phases.
Phase 1 This phase starts on May 18, 2020, with the resumption of activities in the municipalities that have not had any COVID-19 cases and which, additionally, have no neighboring municipalities with COVID-19 cases.
Phase 2 This phase covers from May 18 to May 31, 2020 and consists on the performance of actions for general application understanding by this, for all activities for their eventual resumption; these actions are:
- The preparation of health protocols for the safe resumption of activities.
- Training personnel on labor environment safety.
- The re-adaptation of production areas and processes, and
- The establishment of entrance, sanitation and hygiene filters for the working area.
Phase 3 This phase starts on June 1, 2020; social, educational and economic activities can begin to be resumed on this date, in line with usage of the traffic light system.
In regard to extraordinary actions, the Notice incorporates, as essential activities, those corresponding to the construction, mining and transportation equipment manufacturing industries, which can resume activities on the first of June.
In regard to the above mentioned industries, specific measures for their resumption of activities were published again in the Official Gazette of the Federation on May 15, taking into account that:
- The preparation period described in Phase 2 begins on May 18, 2020, and these companies, considered to be essential, must present health safety protocols which follow the general guidelines established by the Departments of Health, Economy and Labor and Social Welfare.
- The presentation, implementation and approval of the protocols may take place concurrently with the preparation measures for the companies’ start of operations.
- The period between May 18 and June 1, 2020 is the period within which the process for establishing the health safety protocols and mechanisms, in line with the guidelines of the Departments of Economy and Labor and Social Welfare, as well as by the Mexican Institute of Social Security, must be completed.
- An important fact to note is that, in the event that the process is completed, and it is approved before June 1st, the company or industry may begin its operations before June 1st.
- In the case of the automotive and auto parts industries focusing on exports, in addition to the aforementioned requirements, they must implement the protocols required in their countries of origin.
COMMENT. It will be necessary to be very alert in order to be on the lookout for the issuance of the abovementioned general guidelines; nevertheless, the suggestion is that, at this time, all companies start preparing their safety protocols and establishing their plans for training, facility adaptation and entrance filters for their workers in order to be ready at the time in which, in accordance to the risk traffic light system, they are allowed to resume their operations.
We have attached the Official Gazettes of May 14 and 15, 2020, as well as the presentations prepared by the Federal Government which include the risk traffic light system and the Checklist in Face of COVID-19 – Returning to Work, prepared by the Mexican Social Security Institute.