A new Agreement (the “Agreement” ) establishing Specific Technical Guidelines for the Reopening of Economic Activities was published yesterday May 29th in the evening edition of the Federal Official Gazette (you may find a link to the Agreement below). It basically clarifies and officializes what has been discussed during this week. The most important information is the following:
1. The reopening will begin on June 01st, 2020, based in a traffic-light alert system published weekly, and categorizing each region (either by state or by municipality) on four different levels of sanitary risk: maximum (red), high (orange), medium (yellow) and low (green). Depending on the category established for each region, the scope, conditions and guidelines followed by each economic activity will vary.
2. All essential activities must conduct their online auto-assessment in the IMSS webpage ( www.nuevanormalidad.gob.mx ) regarding their health and safety guidelines and protocols. Construction, mining and automotive and/or aerospace industries who have obtained this authorization during May 18th to May 30th are not required to do it again.
3. If allowed by the corresponding category of the health alert system, all companies can begin their operations without any prior authorization on June 01st, 2020.
4. During the maximum or red level of the health alert system, only the activities categorized as essential in a previous Government Agreement may operate but always following the health and safety restriction guidelines and protocols established as of today, the guidelines and measures included in this new Agreement, as well as any indication issued by any competent authority; this includes local authorities’ orders, restrictions or guidelines.
5. Under the maximum or red level of the health alert system, essential activities may operate with certain restrictions issued by the authorities, either federal or local, and the ones contained in the Agreement, such as:
a. Protocols are activated to promote home-office.
b. Implement a distance of 1.5 meters between people; when this can’t be met, employees must be provided with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
c. Install physical barriers at the work-stations, dining rooms, etc.
d. Increase the frequency of transportation and alternate seats.
e. Vulnerable personnel must work from home
f. Establish alternate and flexible shifts and schedules.
g. Exit and entry filter of workers.
6. In the other health alert system categories, the essential activities may operate fully following all health and safety applicable measures, or any other specific or additional restriction issued by federal or local authorities. The rest of activities may begin to operate subject to different conditions according with the Agreement, the applicable guidelines, and any disposition issued by the competent authorities.
7. Since the federal authority will determine the alert level weekly (presumably on Fridays to be enforceable following Monday), the work centers must have plans to comply with the corresponding recommendations and pay special attention to the traffic light health alert system in order to timely implement the plans according to each level.
8. All work centers, plants or facilities must identify their size according with a chart included in the Agreement. For Industries the sizes are.
a. Micro: Less than 10 employees.
b. Small: From 11 to 50 employees.
c. Medium: From 51 to 250 employees.
d. Large: More than 250 employees.
9. Based on the size of each work center, different guidelines and protocols must be implemented effectively. The following guidelines are mandatory notwithstanding the size of the work center, and the details are described in the Agreement. These general strategies are:
a. Health Promotion.
b. Health Protection: Safe Distance, Home-Office, Entry-Exit Controls, Contagion Preventive Measures, Use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
10. All the guidelines and protocols must be monitored constantly by the committee appointed for said purpose.
11. The vulnerable employees are subject to different protection measures depending on the level of the traffic-light health alert system, and according with the restrictions and conditions included in the Agreement.
12. Finally, the Agreement establishes health and safety measures, which are practically identical to the ones published on May 18th for the IMSS authorization. We recommend you to do the following: check that your Company’s size is correctly identified now that there is a new size classification criteria, and check measure by measure in the link below (starting on page 12) because we have noticed that some of them have changed. So, just to be safe, please double check that your already implemented protocols comply with these new official measures based on your company size.
Please be aware that new federal or local conditions, guidelines or restrictions may be announced at any time, adding, changing or modifying the existing ones, as it has been happening during the health emergency. Also, these new Agreement establishes that if necessary, new rules, restrictions or measures may be dictated in the next days depending on each economic sector or the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico.
Please let us know if you have any doubts or comments.