• Lic. Carlos Eduardo Bonilla

GOVERNMENT OF CHIHUAHUA ISSUES AGREEMENT 064/2020 EXPANDING VALIDITY OF ESTABLISHED MEASURES AND

AND ADDING NEW PROVISIONS TO ACHIEVE CORONAVIRUS CONTAINMENT (COVID-19)

With the publication on Sunday, April 19th, 2020, in the Official Gazette of the State, of the agreement No. 064/2020 issued by the Government of Chihuahua, the extension of the measures established in the agreement No. 049 / 2020, published on March 25th, 2020, What are these new provisions that will contribute to the containment of COVID 19 in our State?


BACKGROUND

On March 25th, 2020, the agreement No. 049/2020 issued by the Executive Power of Chihuahua was published in the Official Gazette of State, through which various health-related provisions related to the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) were dictated. On March 30th, 2020, the Federation's General Health Council declared the epidemic caused by CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) as a health emergency, due to force majeure.


Based on the previous agreement, on March 31st, 2020, the Mexican Ministry of Health dictated extraordinary actions to attend the health emergency generated by COVID-19, among the actions established was the suspension of non-essential activities from

March 30th to April 30th of the current year, defining a list of activities considered essential, which can be carried out following sanitary practices and measures.


Subsequently, on April 6th of 2020, the agreement of the Ministry of Health was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, establishing the companies whose suspension may have irreversible effects on their operations. On April 19th, 2020, the agreement No. 064/2020 issued by the Government of Chihuahua was published in the Official Gazette, in order to extend the period of suspension of non-essential activities and dictate new sanitary provisions.



NEW SANITARY PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN A RECENT AGREEMENT (NO. 064/2020) ISSUED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF CHIHUAHUA:


  • The sanitary provisions established by the Government of Chihuahua in the agreement No. 064/2020 and in previous agreement No. 049/2020 will remain in force until May 30th, 2020.

  • The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, with the support of the State’s Public Security Institutions, will carry out inspections in order to ensure the proper compliance with agreement No. 064/2020 and must establish the necessary measures to implement the suspension of labor in companies with non-essential activities that continue operating, and verify that those with essential activities carry them out in compliance with the established prevention measures.

  • In vehicles destined for the passenger transport service, including specialized ones, only 50% of the passenger capacity may be used according to the seats available in the vehicle, without exceeding in any case thirty passengers.

  • All public transportation services must end no later than 8:00 p.m.

  • Only users who use mouth masks or covers may use the transport service.

  • The circulation of private service vehicles with more than two adults inside is prohibited.

  • The use of mouth masks is mandatory in public areas and when entering or staying in any establishment that remains open, that is, anywhere outside your home.

  • Commercial establishments, convenience stores and supermarkets must guarantee free mouth covers for their customers.

  • Sanitary filters integrated by the State Commission of Security and the Health Sector will be established, with the collaboration of other public security corporations, on all international bridges and roads entering the State, in which: The general data of each visitor to the State, and preliminary analysis will be carried out to detect possible infections.

  • The Undersecretarat for Health Promotion and Prevention is created within the organic structure of the State’s Health Ministry (Actions and strategies in epidemiological and health security matters).

  • The commercial establishments considered essential that remain open will be forced to prevent a greater number of people from concentrating inside, in accordance with the following dimensions:

1. Spaces greater than 2000 square meters: Up to 75 people.

2. Spaces from 1500 to 2000 square meters: Up to 50 people.

3. Spaces from 500 to 1500 square meters: Up to 25 people.

4. Spaces less than 500 square meters: Up to 10 people.


They must also ensure that the lines that are formed to enter, maintain a minimum distance of two meters between each adult person.


LEGAL CONSEQUENCES

The fact of extending the validity of the suspension of non-essential activities until May 30th, 2020, brings with it a series of legal situations that should be highlighted, one of them is the fact that the State’s labor authority may close the source of work with the use of the public force in the case of companies that carry out non-essential activities and that continue with their operations, but also those companies that carry out an essential activity and do not comply with the established sanitary provisions will be sanctioned. The agreement No. 064/2020, dictates that the companies mentioned in the federal agreements are the ones considered essential.


Another relevant situation is that in the aforementioned agreement, the health emergency is extended due to force majeure, however this is done by the state authority since to this day the federal authority has not established a new agreement published in the Official Gazette of the Federation through which the health emergency is technically extended at the national level, only the Federal undersecretariat of health mentioned the extension of the suspension of non essential activities until May 30th, 2020 at a press conference, and the State’s decree No. 064/2020 does not mention anything about wages since this issue is a federal matter.


Despite the fact that from the beginning of this atypical situation, the federal authority stated that workers had to be sent home with the 100% of their salary, the Labor Law stipulates that in a cases like these “…the worker will be paid a compensation equivalent to one day of general minimum wage, for each day the suspension lasts, without exceeding one month "..., but the reality has surpassed the regulatory hypotheses and established legal criteria, and the reality has been that all companies have been forced to establish different types of agreements with the workforce in order to preserve the source of work.


Consequently companies at this time must also extend these agreements with their workers in the same terms in which they were originally concluded at the beginning of the suspension of activities based on the federal agreements but especially State’s agreement No. 064/2020, since currently this agreement is the only one that legally and technically has extended the period of time in which the non-essential will be suspended, and with this it has been the authority itself the one that has broken established limitation that the suspension of work agreement could not exceed a month. It is of utmost importance for the companies of Chihuahua to know the new provisions established in the agreement No. 064/2020 issued by the State Government in order to be prepared to face the extension of the extraordinary situation caused by the COVID 19 outbreak.



At Toulet & Gottfried we can provide you with the best legal advice, as well as represent you in any legal matters that may arise.

Mexico: (656) 627.0000

US Direct line: (915) 613.0192 Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua 32300

P.O. Box 9398, El Paso, TX 79995

www.toulet-gottfried.com


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