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Mexico And COVID-19 Essential Activity Restrictions

On March 31, the Mexican government issued, as part of a series of actions aimed at mitigating and controlling the effects of COVID-19, extraordinary measures to meet its immediate and emergency needs.


From now through April 30, 2020, Mexico has suspended all nonessential activities in order to reduce the burden of COVID-19.

Only activities directly correlated to the following shall be considered essential and may continue to operate:

  • Health, medical, paramedical, pharmacy, hazardous substance, cleaning and sanitation, including manufacturing and distribution thereof 

  • Public security, safety and defense, including judicial and legislative activities related thereto 

  • Fundamental sectors of the economy, including:

    • Fiscal

    • Utilities, including electricity, water and gas

    • Food and beverages (other than alcoholic beverages), including retail and distribution

    • Agriculture, fisheries and livestock

    • Industrial chemicals and cleaning

    • Storage

    • Courier services

    • Private security

    • Child care, nursing homes and shelters

    • Telecommunications and media

    • Emergency services

    • Funeral services 

    • Transportation of individuals and cargo

    • Logistics, including airports, ports and railways

    • Activities whose suspension may have irreversible effects as a result 

  • Governmental activities

  • Conservation, maintenance and repair of the critical infrastructure

Locations that perform essential activities must observe certain practices, including:

  • No meetings of more than 50 people

  • Individuals should wash their hands frequently

  • Individuals should take certain precautions while coughing and sneezing

  • No contact when greeting, including handshakes

To the extent an individual does not have to perform any essential activities, individuals are expected to take shelter until April 30, 2020.

Regardless of whether their activities are essential, sheltering is required for individuals who:

  • Are 60 years old or over

  • Are or were recently pregnant

  • Have heart, lung, kidney or liver diseases, diabetes, or are otherwise immunocompromised

Once the take-shelter period has been completed, the Mexican government will issue guidelines for orderly, phased and regionalized return of activities. 

Just prior to issuing this series of actions, on March 27 Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, issued a decree declaring that certain extraordinary measures be taken in certain regions of Mexico in reaction to COVID-19 and on March 30, the Mexican government declared the pandemic a health emergency via force majeure. Such measures include: 

  • The use of medical and other resources from the public and private sectors located in the affected and neighboring regions

  • Foreign and domestic acquisitions of goods and services, including medical equipment, tests and hygiene products, as well as other goods necessary to deal with to the contingency, without the need for a public bidding procedure or other administrative restriction

  • Taking necessary measures to avoid price gouging and hoarding of such goods 

  • Such others as may be deemed necessary by the Mexican Ministry of Health

© 2020 BARNES & THORNBURG LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 94



About this Author

Margarita Escalante Corporate Lawyer Latin America

Margarita Escalante assists clients in domestic and international corporate matters and commercial transactions including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate governance and compliance, with a focus on the U.S., Mexico and Latin America.

Margarita counsels clients in doing business and in limiting risk and exposure throughout the United States and Mexico, particularly with regards to structuring, establishing or acquiring operations, including overseeing tax, labor, real estate, import and export, franchising, anti-corruption, and general corporate matters.


Timo Rehbock International Corporate Lawyer Barnes Thornburg Law Firm

Chair of the firm’s European practice group, Timo Rehbock advises on domestic and international corporate and commercial matters. His experience ranges from general commercial contracts to private equity and venture capital investments, mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, financings, and strategic alliances.

Timo has a strong domestic and an established international corporate and commercial law practice. He has more than a decade of experience in representing clients on complex inbound and outbound matters. Fluent in English, German, French, and Spanish, Timo advises clients on acquisition structures for cross-border transactions and investments between the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia. He has led both buy-side and sell-side teams on diverse transactions.

Timo also counsels his clients with respect to global compliance requirements. He represents a variety of businesses in the automotive, food processing, renewable energy, logistics, manufacturing, and technology industries. His clients encompass startup businesses, as well as private middle-market and public companies. In addition, Timo serves as the primary outside general counsel for several domestic and multinational companies and strives to provide cost-effective, tailored legal solutions.

Timo is appreciated by his global clientele for serving as a cultural bridge to international business and in particular, those doing business in the U.S. He is a frequent speaker on legal issues in the cross-border arena. His people skills are manifest in his emotional intelligence and the ability to understand diverse perspectives and situations accurately.

Responsive and an active listener, Timo effectively creates and directs client teams that meet and exceed expectations. A devout problem-solver, Timo is at his best serving as a collaborator and trusted adviser to those he serves.

Jennifer Stocker, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, Grand Rapids, Labor and Employment and Litigation Law Attorney

Jennifer Stocker is a partner in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP and a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Law Department.

Ms. Stocker’s labor and employment practice is national in scope. Her practice emphasis is in the defense of employment litigation filed against employers in state, federal and appellate courts, as well as the defense of charges before state and federal administrative agencies. Her litigation experience includes the defense of FLSA claims, including workplace class actions, FMLA, ADA...