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

Global Publication April 7, 2020

As part of the continued efforts of the Mexican government to address and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, and further to resolutions relevant to the subject matter that have been issued just recently (particularly the resolution issued on March 31, 2020), on April 6, the Mexican Ministry of Health issued a new resolution seeking to elaborate and provide further clarification on the scope of “essential activities” that are allowed and encouraged to continue during the ongoing pandemic.

What you need to know

This new resolution is effective immediately and, in summary, provides that:

  1. In addition to the activities deemed essential by the resolution issued on March 31, 2020 it is clarified that, solely by virtue of its suspension potentially having “irreversible adverse” effects on its continuance are limited to (1) steel, cement and glass manufacturing and production; and (2) information technology services guaranteeing continuance of information systems in the public, private and social sectors.

  2. As a general rule, steel, cement and glass manufacturing and production companies are to continue operating with “minimal activity” in order to avoid irreversible adverse effects to its operation. Any such company shall (1) notify the Ministry of Economy via e-mail within a term not to exceed from 24 hours as of the publication of the resolution (i.e., effectively, during the course of April 7, 2020) detailing the number of employees that are strictly essential for its operation to continue in those terms; and (2) comply with all mandatory social distancing measures per the resolution issued on March 31, 2020.

  3. Steel, cement and glass manufacturing and production companies that have entered into valid ongoing contracts with the Mexican federal government, will continue undertaking any activities necessary to comply with “short-term” obligations exclusively as it pertains to the following projects: Dos Bocas refinery, Mayan train, Felipe Angeles international airport, trans-isthmic corridor, and “any other existing contract deemed essential for” Pemex and CFE (Mexico’s power utility).

  4. Courier and shipping services used by eCommerce companies will be considered essential services, provided that all mandatory social distancing measures per the resolution issued on March 31, 2020 are met.

  5. Carbon mines shall continue operating at a minimum capacity as it may be necessary to satisfy CFE’s demand. Any such company shall notify the Ministry of Economy via email within a term not to exceed from 24 hours as of the publication of the resolution (i.e. effectively, during the course of April 7, 2020) detailing the number of employees who are strictly essential for its operation to continue in those terms.

  6. Carbon distribution companies shall continue distribution and logistics activities with as few employees as it may be necessary to satisfy CFE’s demand. Any such company shall (1) notify the Ministry of Economy via email within a term not to exceed from 24 hours as of the publication of the resolution (i.e., effectively, during the course of April 7, 2020) detailing the number of employees who are strictly essential for its operation to continue in those terms; and (2) comply with all mandatory social distancing measures per the resolution issued on March 31, 2020.

While this new resolution does not include any express penalties for companies that may fail to follow its provisions, as outlined in our prior update (available here), breach of its provisions may in fact lead to administrative and/or criminal penalties based on the existing regulation.

This is the third 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 reach out to Hernán González, Dante Trevedan or your Norton Rose Fulbright contact 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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