About 63 percent of Mexico's adult population has received a vaccination against COVID-19, but the pandemic situation has still worsened considerably, with only one of the nation's 32 states having no restrictions on social and business activities as recommended under the nation's pandemic traffic light monitoring system.
In light of the worsening pandemic conditions, the federal government is urging people to reduce the risk of infection by complying with the government's recommended sanitary measures. In addition, the federal government recently issued new "Guidelines for Risk Estimation of the COVID-19 Regional Traffic Light." The federal guidelines recommend restrictions on the opening and closing of social and business activities that generate the least impact on essential economic activities in order to curb the spread of the pandemic, based on the severity of the impact of COVID-19 in each state.
The four-tiered monitoring system, which is updated every other week, was implemented in June 2020, and it is used to alert residents to the epidemiological risks of COVID-19 and provide guidance on restrictions on certain activities in each of the country's states. In the current report, only Chiapas is in green status, the status under which all activities are permitted without restrictions. This is also the first time only one state has been in green status since late September 2020. Seven states-up from only one state in the biweekly report for July 26-August 8, 2021-are in red status, under which only essential activities are permitted.
Below is a map for the period of August 23, 2021, through September 5, 2021, indicating the COVID-19 risk level in each of the states and the capital.
This chart presents the traffic light status of each state, and, as applicable, variations between federal and local traffic light statuses based on publications of the federal Ministry of Health and status reports provided by each state.
Mexico City Remains in Orange Status
As recently as mid-June 2021, Mexico City had been in green status, but the Mexico City Monitoring Committee moved the capital's status to orange in late July. The committee recently determined that the capital would remain in orange status, the second-highest category of strictness. The committee did not indicate capacity limits for employers that want to return their employees to work on-site, so employers may want to follow federal guidelines and limit on-site capacity to 50 percent while the capital remains in orange status. Employers may also wish to conduct at their own expense and on a weekly basis rapid antigen tests or polymerase chain reaction RT-PCR tests (for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus) of at least 20 percent of the personnel who work on-site.
The Administrative Verification Institute and other Mexico City government authorities will continue to verify compliance with the general and workplace-specific sanitary measures. Government authorities may levy fines and/or impose total or partial temporary suspensions of work centers for up to 15 calendar days for employers that are found to be in noncompliance with the sanitary measures.
Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and will post updates in the firm's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm's webinar and podcast programs.
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