Mexico COVID Update – April 13, 2020

We update you on the current COVID-19 coronavirus situation in Mexico, with particular regard to the effect on industry activities.

As of 13 April 2020, the number of COVID cases in Mexico stands at 4,661 with Mexico City having the highest number of confirmed cases (1,328). The rest of the states in Mexico average around 200 cases. So far there have been 296 deaths.

Current COVID Measures in Mexico

On 31 March 2020, the Mexican federal government declared a national health emergency and issued a decree which only permits essential activities to be undertaken. Non-essential activities are to be suspended until 30 April 2020.

There is quite an extensive list of permitted essential activities but here is a summary of those relevant to business and to industry:

  • Activities related to the medical sector, including the manufacturing of supplies, medical equipment and health care technology. This includes those parties involved in the supply chain for such services and products.
  • Infrastructure, transportation and logistics services e.g. energy, water, cargo and passenger transportation, airports, ports, are permitted.
  • Chemical industries, agriculture, and businesses producing cleaning products are permitted to continue.
  • Activities that are in the fundamental sectors of the economy, the suspension of which could have irreversible effects on the economy.

Individual states have also adopted social distancing measures such as:

  • Closing non-essential businesses e.g. restaurants and cafes, movie theatres.
  • Requiring people to stay at home and not travel for non-essential purposes.

Travel restrictions

The US and Mexican governments have agreed that US citizens and lawful permanent residents can return to the US. Individuals traveling for essential reasons i.e. to work in the US, engage in lawful cross-border trade, are also permitted to enter the US. Please note however, that individual states in the US will have their own quarantine requirements.

Travel to Mexico is not advised. There are quarantine requirements for international visitors arriving via air. While it is still possible for US citizens to enter Mexico through the land crossings, we also do not recommend this because the border controls are in a state of confusion at the moment. It will also be hard to maintain social distancing. Domestic travel within Mexico is also not advised.

Impact on business and industry

Businesses had already implemented their own COVID measures before the federal government made the emergency declaration. Many instructed their staff to work from home. In some factories, examples of the COVID measures implemented were: working with a reduced workforce, checking the temperature of any person before he or she enters the facility, instructing staff to maintain distance from one another and also reconfiguring the workplace to enable social distancing, and getting the staff to wear protective gear.

As the federal government’s declaration has significant ambiguities on which activities are considered ‘fundamental to the economy’, many factories and industries continue to function and maintain a ‘business as usual’ trading approach as much as possible. From what we can see, on the ground level, individual businesses are making their own decisions on whether they want to continue operating. Some companies, like Endeavour Silver, have decided to suspend their operations until 30 April 2020.

We will continue to update our readers of the COVID situation.