The pandemic appears for the time being to be held in check in Mexico, as the majority of the adult population has been fully vaccinated. Social and business activities are open without restriction in 28 of the nation’s 32 states, according to the federal government’s pandemic monitoring system.
Only Aguascalientes and the northern states of Baja California, Chihuahua, and Sonora are in yellow status under the four-tiered COVID-19 traffic light monitoring system, which is updated every other week to reflect changes in infection and hospitalization rates, among other factors. Durango, the only other state in yellow status in the report for December 13–26, 2021, was upgraded to green status, meaning that pandemic–related social and business restrictions have been lifted. Residents in states designated in yellow status are urged to take preventative measures to ensure individuals at high risk of contracting COVID-19 (e.g., individuals with comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, or obesity) are not infected.
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. Below is a map for the period of December 27, 2021, through January 9, 2022, indicating the COVID-19 risk level in each of the states and the capital.
Vaccinations and Pandemic Key Indicators
As of December 29, 2021, about 88 percent of Mexico’s adult population had been at least partially vaccinated, according to the Ministry of Health. Authorities are also continuing to prioritize booster shots for medical personnel and subsequently will make the shots available to teachers in green-status states after providing booster shots for individuals 60 years of age and older.
According to the Ministry of Health’s pandemic tracking data, since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been more than 3.9 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 46,045 are currently active. Slightly more than 3.3 million people who contracted the virus have recovered. The data also shows that the pandemic has taken a heavy toll, with 299,544 people having died of COVID-19–related complications. (According to federal data on “excess mortality,” the number of deaths caused by the pandemic could be higher.)
The tracking data does not yet indicate the impact and spread of the Omicron variant, but the Ministry of Health’s undersecretary of prevention and health promotion said in a December 28, 2021, press conference that 42 cases had been found, “and more will continue to appear … to the extent that the epidemic continues to be active in the world and in Mexico.”
In light of the above, federal health authorities are still urging the population to reduce the risk of infection by complying with sanitary measures, such as frequently washing hands and wearing face masks when in social or business settings.
According to Mexico City pandemic tracking data, the capital has seen an uptick of just under 7,200 new confirmed COVID-19 cases since December 15, 2021, a number low enough for the Mexico City Monitoring Committee to allow the capital to remain in green status, where it has been since early November. The greater Mexico City region is home to about 20 percent of the nation’s population.
The committee has not updated the guidelines for private corporate offices, so employers may want to continue to limit the percentage of employees working on-site to 80 percent, in accordance with Mexico City’s industry-specific health protection guidelines. Employers in corporate office settings may also want to follow guidance stipulating that employers provide at their own expense and on a weekly basis rapid antigen tests or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, to at least 20 percent of the personnel attending work on-site.
Finally, the verification visits by the Administrative Verification Institute along with other Mexico City government authorities will continue to verify compliance with general and specific sanitary measures for health protection in workplaces. Employers found to be out of compliance with the measures may be fined or be subject to the total or partial temporary suspension of work centers for up to 15 calendar days. Noncompliant employers may also be subject to other applicable sanctions.
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.