Mexican Ministry of Health technical guidelines for essential activities: prompt action required | Foley & Lardner LLP

On Monday, April 6, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. CST, the Mexican Minister of Health issued a set of guidelines on how to interpret the agreement which provides the technical guidelines for the activities described in paragraphs c) and e) of section II of article 1 of the agreement establishing extraordinary actions to face the health emergency generated by the SARS-CoV2 virus published on March 31, 2020 (the “revised executive order”), when it comes to essential activities whose interruption may have irreversible effects for its subsequent continuation, as well as for the activities necessary for the preservation, maintenance and repair of the critical infrastructure that ensures the production and distribution of essential services related to electricity.

These guidelines provide that steel, cement and glass production activities, as well as the IT services necessary to guarantee the continuity of information systems for the public, private and social sectors, are considered essential activities for the title of the revised executive order.

Carbon mines, as well as carbon distribution companies, are also considered essential for the electricity sector, as their activity is kept at a minimum to satisfy its supply to the Federal Electricity Commission.

Additionally, e-commerce companies and platforms are considered courier services for the purposes of the revised Executive Order; therefore, activities deemed essential as well.

In order to ensure the continuity of their operations in accordance with these guidelines, companies producing coal, steel, cement and glass, as well as those providing IT services necessary to guarantee the continuity of the information systems of the public, private and social sectors, should send an email to the Ministry of Economy at economia@economia.gob.mx within 24 hours of the publication of these guidelines, providing the following information: (i) Name of the ‘business ; (ii) Name of legal representative; (iii) tax identification number; (iv) Contact telephone number; (v) Contact email address; (vi) Location/Address; (vii) Number of employees hired under normal conditions; and (viii) Number of employees during the health emergency.

It should be noted that neither e-commerce companies and platforms, nor coal distribution companies, are required to send an email to the Ministry of Economy as explained above.

In addition, only steel, cement and glass production companies that have ongoing contracts with the federal government for Dos Bocas (refinery), Tren Maya (Mayan railway project), airport (exclusively Felipe Angeles Airport) and the Transisthmian Corridor, or whose contracts are deemed essential by Pemex or the Mexican Electricity Commission, have the right to maintain their activity at a level that allows them to meet their short-term contractual commitments .

Finally, as provided for in the revised executive decree, the principles of social distancing apply in all places, enclosures and complexes where essential activities are carried out.

Whether these guidelines preclude other activities from being considered essential should be further clarified. We will continue to monitor and provide updates as information continues to flow.

For additional web resources available to help you monitor the spread of the coronavirus globally, you can visit the CDC and World Health Organization websites.

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Michelle J. Kelley