Alerts and Updates

Mexico's Federal Government Declares COVID-19 Health Emergency

April 1, 2020

An important part of the statement made by the Mexican authorities relates to the classification of COVID-19 as a force majeure event.

On March 30, 2020, the Mexican federal government declared a health emergency and issued stricter rules aimed at containing the fast-spreading COVID-19 virus after the number of cases surged past 1,000 and the death toll rose sharply in the country. An important part of the statement made by the Mexican authorities relates to the classification of COVID-19 as a force majeure event, which may have an impact in contractual relationships throughout the country.

The following rules were issued by the Mexican government, which will remain in force at least until April 30.

Essential Versus Nonessential Activities

All nonessential activities for the public, private and social sectors are suspended.

The following are deemed as essential activities:

  1. Those necessary to address the health emergency, such as health services and supply of medical equipment, medicines and sanitizing products.
  2. Those relating to public safety and national defense.
  3. Sectors deemed as essential for the proper functioning of the economy including, among others, finance, tax collection, energy, food and water industry, transportation, agroindustry, courier services, telecommunications as well as any other activities that could cause irreversible effects if suspended.
  4. Government-run social programs.
  5. The conservation and maintenance of critical infrastructure.

Emergency Rules

In all sectors and activities deemed as essential, it is mandatory to avoid meetings of over 100 individuals and avoid sneezing in public and handshakes.

Individuals arriving into the country from abroad who do not participate in essential activities will have to remain within their homes.

People over 60 years old and others vulnerable should strictly observe the stay-at-home recommendations. Essential personnel of public interest may show up to work at their discretion.

Once the suspension of activities is lifted, the Health Secretary along with the Economy and Labor Secretary shall issue the rules for a gradual return of labor, economic and social activities.

All electoral processes and any census taking is postponed. The government’s declaration states that all the emergency measures shall be applied while respecting all human rights.

About Duane Morris

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For More Information

If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact Eduardo Ramos-Gómez, Rosa M. Ertze, Miguel de Leon Perez, any of the attorneys in our Mexico Business Group, any member of the COVID-19 Strategy Team or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.