The COVID-19 traffic light scenario in the states of Mexico still looks complicated, with only Chiapas and Chihuahua among the nation’s states operating without restrictions on social and business activities. Therefore, the federal Ministry of Health continues to urge the population to reduce the risk of infection by complying with the sanitary measures with which Mexico’s residents are all too familiar.
Currently, 13 states are federally designated in yellow status and 17 states in orange status under Mexico’s COVID-19 Traffic Light Monitoring System. The four-tiered, color-coded system, which is updated twice monthly, was introduced in June 2020 and 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. The system progresses from green status (all activities are returned to the new normal), through yellow (all activities permitted with precautionary measures to prevent infection among high-risk individuals), orange (high-risk areas), and finally to red (only essential activities permitted).
In a sign of improvement, none of the states are in red status, compared with seven states for the period of August 23–September 5, 2021.
Below is a map for the period of September 6–19, 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. Some of the states may assign a different traffic light status either statewide or by region, issue updates more frequently, or have modified the federal traffic light system. Durango, for example, is considered by the federal government to be in yellow status, but is taking a more cautious approach with statewide orange-level conditions. The federal government also notes the states with the “most visited destinations in Mexico.”
As of September 7, 2021, 59,614,774 people had been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Mexico, representing 67 percent of the population 18 years of age or older. The federal government has not clarified the percentage of people over 18 years of age who have completed their vaccination schedules (i.e., received one dose of a single-dose vaccine or two doses of a two-dose vaccine).
Mexico City Improves to Yellow Status
Mexico City had been in orange status since late July 2021, but the Mexico City Monitoring Committee has determined that conditions have improved enough in the capital—whose metropolitan area accounts for nearly a fifth of the nation’s population—to change the status to yellow. The committee determined that private corporate offices may operate with a maximum capacity of 80 percent of their workforces in compliance with the Mexico City government’s industry-specific health protection guidelines. The guidelines for private corporate offices establish an obligation for employers 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, to at least 20 percent of the personnel attending work on-site. The government has released more than 50 industry-specific guidelines, as well as general guidance on nondiscrimination in employment due to the pandemic.
Finally, the verification visits by the Administrative Verification Institute along with other Mexico City government authorities will continue to verify compliance with the general and specific workplace health protection measures. Employers found to be noncompliant with the health and safety measures may be fined or subject to the total or partial temporary suspension of work centers for up to 15 calendar days, and may 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.