Mexican COVID-19 Traffic Light Monitoring System – May 2022 | Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, CP

Mexico’s federal government will soon stop updating its COVID-19 pandemic surveillance system every two weeks, said Dr. Hugo López-Gatell, Mexico’s Undersecretary for Health Prevention and Promotion, at a recent press conference. The announcement follows the four-tier system showing all thirty-two states in green status – the only status without restrictions on business and social activities – for the second consecutive period.

An announcement from the General Health Council that the monitoring system will no longer be updated every two weeks has not yet been published in the Official Journal of the Federation, but Dr. López-Gatell’s statement provides a strong indicator that the federal government considers the pandemic to be over in Mexico. Aguascalientes, for example, currently reports no hospitalizations due to COVID-19, Baja California reports less than 1% of the population with active cases, and Coahuila recently reported only thirty-four people with active cases, of which thirteen were hospitalized.

Face masks are no longer mandatory under federal guidance, but they are still recommended in enclosed spaces, Dr. López-Gatell said. However, Mexico City still requires the use of face masks in private offices and other indoor locations, along with the following measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • the installation of antibacterial gel dispensers with 70% alcohol at entrances and in common areas;
  • use of natural ventilation where possible (e.g. open doors and windows); and
  • in the case of artificial ventilation, a minimum of 40% recirculation to the outside. Recirculation of air to interior spaces is prohibited and filter systems must be constantly disinfected and cleaned.

The surveillance system was put in place in June 2020, and it is used to alert residents to the epidemiological risks of COVID-19 and provide advice on restrictions of certain activities in each of the states of the country. As shown in the map below for the period of April 18 to May 1, 2022, all states and the capital are in green status, according to federal designations.

This table shows each state’s traffic light status and, where applicable, variations between federal and local traffic light states based on publications from the Federal Department of Health and state reports provided by each state. As some of Mexico’s thirty-two states have established their own surveillance systems, local statutes may sometimes differ from federally designated status restrictions. Puebla, for example, has designated five of its six regions as yellow status (medium risk) and the sixth, Puebla, home to the state capital, as orange status (high risk). Veracruz has introduced limited restrictions, even though the vast majority of its 212 municipalities are in green status, and none in red status (containment except for essential activities).

Labor and Employment Update: Resignation Letters

An employer who disputes a worker’s allegation that he was forced to resign and who was instructed to sign a letter of resignation should provide proof of the original letter, “which must contain the [that] …convincingly and coherently” demonstrating “the will, autonomy and spontaneity of the worker”, according to a recent isolated (i.e. non-binding) decision of a Mexico City collegiate circuit court.

After proving the existence and the elements of the letter, the worker would be required to demonstrate “the alleged physical, moral or economic influence, deception, coercion or intimidation”, the court ruled.

In light of the notice and in addition to an employee’s letter of resignation, an employer may want the employee who has announced their intention to voluntarily end the employment relationship to sign a Letter of Certificate of Employment and a document relating to severance pay.

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