Mexico: COVID-19 Update: Further clarification on the scope of ‘Essential activities’

Mexico: Breaking updates on COVID-19: Sanitary emergency period extended

Global Publication April 22, 2020

The Mexican federal government, through the Ministry of Health, has formally extended the ongoing COVID-19 sanitary emergency period (thereby extending all extraordinary measures mandated in connection therewith) until May 30, 2020. 

This extension came by way of a new resolution issued by the Ministry of Health the night of April 21, 2020, summarized as follows:

  • Until May 30, 2020, only “essential activities” (more on this below) are allowed  to continue.

  • The sanitary emergency and the relevant extraordinary measures mandated by the Mexican government may potentially be lifted on May 18 2020, only in those municipalities that as of that date record low or null SARS-CoV2 virus transmission.

  • The Ministry of Health has yet to determine the criteria to evaluate the degree of the virus transmission for such purpose. Further, the Ministry of Health will establish guidelines to reduce mobility between municipalities with distinct degrees of presence of the SARS-CoV2 virus.

  • Local state governments shall (i) report to the Ministry of Health, on a daily basis, local numbers on medical availability, occupancy, attention and other statistics deemed necessary by the Ministry of Health on severe respiratory infection; and (ii) establish and enforce strategies aimed at reducing mobility between municipalities with distinct degrees of presence of the SARS-CoV2 virus, as the Ministry of Health may instruct.

Please note that this new resolution is technically an amendment to the resolution issued by the Ministry of Health on March 31, 2020 (our thoughts on it are available here), that initially introduced the concept of “essential activities” that are allowed – and to a degree, encouraged – to continue during the sanitary emergency. 

Although the Ministry of Health later issued a follow-up resolution aiming to clarify the scope of “essential activities” (our thoughts on it are available here) this concept continues to be somewhat vague and, in any event, undeveloped. 

We have successfully assisted some of our clients and friends in order to understand the scope and implications of different measures imposed in Mexico as of today, the activities that should be considered essential, how it affects the supply chain thereunder and the criteria that has been adopted by some local authorities, but this is a matter that will need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

This is the fourth in Norton Rose Fulbright’s Mexico series on COVID-19 regulation and developments (other articles in this series are available here). This article is not intended to provide (nor shall it be construed as) legal advice. Feel free to contact Hernán González or Dante Trevedan for additional updates and specific advice on how the COVID-19 outbreak may impact your deal and/or the performance of contractual or regulatory obligations under Mexican law.

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