On 10 October 2022, the Director of Economic Benefits of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) published the new Guidelines for the Healthy Continuity of Economic Activities in the face of COVID-19 ("Guidelines"), updating recommendations for the proper management of sanitary measures to prevent the spread of the SARS- CoV-2 virus.
The Guidelines were reviewed and authorized by the New Normality Committee consisting of the IMSS, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Health of the Federal government.
The Guidelines must be applied at the national level for all workplaces. The Guidelines establish the specific measures that workplaces must implement to continue in a safe and responsible way.
Companies should train workers to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in their homes and, importantly, at social events and during commutes using public or private transportation provided by the company, including the following:
- Provide general information about COVID-19, how it spreads, its symptoms and the best ways to prevent spread to others.
- The importance of washing hands frequently with soap and water, or using 60% alcohol-based solutions.
- The practice of respiratory etiquette (covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a disposable tissue or the inner corner of your arm).
- Keeping a healthy distance (at least 1.5 meters).
- Establishing a training program for directors or managers on measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In the workplace
Actions focused on reducing the risk of spread must be implemented to prevent the virus from entering the workplace. These include hygiene, cleanliness and keeping a healthy distance. Employers should:
- Suggest employees keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between people
- Provide dispensers with 60% alcohol-based solutions, made available to staff at different points in the workplace
- Ensure that restrooms have sinks and adequate conditions for cleaning staff
- Establish a permanent cleaning and maintenance program for workplaces, including those intended for food, rest and, where appropriate, overnight services, using the appropriate cleaning products to prevent the spread of the virus
- If possible, use natural ventilation in common spaces or spaces with a greater concentration of personnel, in addition to work areas with a large influx of personnel
- Check the operation of any ventilation systems in addition to providing maintenance and filter changes to ensure correct operation
- The use of disinfectant mats is withdrawn since there is no scientific basis to prove their effectiveness.
- RT-PCR tests for SARS - CoV -2 are used in the workplace, with the prior consent of the workers, but taking the test will not be mandatory to return to the workplace.
- Individuals cannot be prevented from returning to work on the basis of their vaccination status.
- It is suggested that facemasks be used in closed places and that individuals maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between people, but these are no longer required.
In order to reduce the risk of contagion, employers may distribute facemasks (surgical masks) among the working population, supervising their correct use (covering the nose and mouth).
The use of masks with a valve is not recommended, since they do not reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
The use of facemasks is suggested according to the following scheme:
|With a healthy
|Without a healthy distance
||With a healthy
|Without a healthy distance
It is suggested that facemasks be used in closed spaces that are not ventilated or have little ventilation.
The use of face coverings can be omitted:
- When people are not sharing the same physical workplace
- When people are drinking or eating food
- During intense physical work
The use of facemasks is suggested:
- At all times for people who have decided not to be vaccinated or who are immunocompromised
- In poorly ventilated workplaces for people who share the same physical workplace
- In jobs where there is a very high exposure to sources known or suspected of SARS - CoV -2, such as workers in health care who perform procedures that generate aerosols. These individuals must use N95 facemasks (or their equivalent), gloves, gown and protection of eyes. Special cases must be assessed individually.
The obligation to establish and maintain a cleaning and maintenance program in the workplace and in personnel transportation remains, as does the obligation to continuously monitor ventilation systems.
Click here to download the Spanish version.