Argentina: COVID-19 - General measures that impact the workplace — Important updates

In brief

Resolution 705/2022 of the Federal Ministry of Health ("Resolution") has relaxed the requirements for COVID-19 prevention in general and for the workplace in particular. Among the main updates, the Resolution states that social distancing of two meters (6.5 feet), which has been in effect to date, will no longer be mandatory.

In addition, Emergency Decree 3/2022 of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires ("Decree") extends the health emergency until 30 April 2022, to prevent and reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 among the population.


Contents

  1. The Resolution sets forth new general care parameters for protection against COVID-19, which fully apply to workplaces:
  • Continue to use face masks indoors, including workplaces, educational and social environments and public transportation.
  • Ensure that rooms are duly ventilated.
  • Keep appropriate and frequent handwashing.
  • In the event of symptoms, avoid contact with other people and refrain from attending labor, social and educational events, public places and from using public transportation.
  • The two-meter (6.5-foot) social distancing that was in force is no longer in effect.
  • The symptoms and disease self-reporting obligation for the "Cuidar" app is no longer in effect.
  • To date, persons with certain immune deficiencies, oncological and transplant patients, were automatically exempt from attending the workplace. The Resolution now sets forth that to define whether the person should work remotely or in person, an individual medical examination and certification are recommended. Therefore, employees who may fall into those groups are no longer automatically exempt from attending work in person.
  1. The Decree extends the health emergency for the City of Buenos Aires until 30 April to protect the population and reduce the COVID-19 rates, notwithstanding the continued activities that may be authorized according to the protocols in place for each case.

Thus, the Decree is complemented by the Resolution's new guidelines and, despite extending the health emergency, it authorizes continued activities for the City of Buenos Aires provided they comply with the Resolution.

Among other consequences for the development of labor relations, we understand that for employees who continue to work fully remotely or under hybrid systems, both regulations would allow employers to maintain the Telework Regime's effective date (which had been suspended by Resolution 142/2021 of the Federal Ministry of Labor), considering that the pandemic context that both regulations ratify allows such suspension.

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