María Elena Sierra Díaz, AS Consultores, Mexico

The situation in Mexico is comparable to the measures taken in the rest of the world.

The first recorded case of Coronavirus was the last week of February 2020, today the government has issued a series of recommendations to deal with the health contingency by COVID 19, without resorting to a mobility block or mandatory confinement.

With measures such as stay at home and social distancing, a lockdown is being avoided, however with current forecasts it is estimated that within 15 days we will be in phase 3 of the health contingency.

The education sector in Mexico was the first agent to suspend activities on March 16, 2020. After bares, discos, gyms, cinemas, museums and any other space that concentrates more than 50 people was closed on March 22, 2020.

Restriction of mobility or absolute confinement at home has not been prohibited, however government measures and recommendations to avoid a spread outbreak are social distancing and stay at home, a social distance of at least 1.5m and people must stay at home as much as possible. As well as protecting our population from older adults or those with chronic diseases.

Travel within the territory is only allowed for essential movements, por example if it is necessary to go out for essential purchases, it is recommended to only leave one person, since several non-essential stores have been closed and working from home has become an usual practice, to which companies and workers must adapt to this health contingency.

On March 31, 2020, the Mexican government indicated the list the essential sectors of public interest are not obliged to close down. A list of essential sectors in Mexico are:

  • Health sector, including pharmacies.
  • Public security, citizen protection and law enforcement sector.
  • Gas stations.
  • Gas and drinking water distributors.
  • Take away food, food market, restaurants with take away service, sale of prepared food.
  • Supermarkets, self-service stores, groceries, hardware stores.
  • Transportation of passengers and cargo, logistics such as airports, ports, railways, transportation.
  • Messaging, telecommunications and information media services.
  • Private emergency, funeral and burial services.

The fiscal sector in Mexico said that March 31 is the limit for companies to file their annual return, and companies that had taxed income the previous year had to consider a budget forecast for payment, in Mexico the micro, small and medium-sized companies mostly live a day, without sufficient savings to survive more than a month without income.

Some countries announced the partial closure of their borders as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In Mexico customs and border control continue to work normally, only workers who are part of the risk sector, such as older adults, pregnant women or people with chronic diseases, are those who have stopped working to protect themselves at home. There is no exact number confirmed, but we estimate that customs must be working with 85% of its staff.

Foreign trade also generates income for various sectors that makes it impossible to stop its activities:

  • For the government: Collection of taxes and contributions.
  • For private industries: It allows the importation of raw materials or finished goods to be marketed.
  • For the community related to foreign trade, such as customs agencies, trading companies, terminals, shipping companies, airlines, warehouses, transporters: It continues to be a source of work for many Mexican families.

However, in Mexico the scenario is negative for this health contingency,  there is no economic support plan for the various sectors affected by this pandemic, which will generate a forced economic recession and crisis in the health system, which makes it extremely delicate. Without fiscal incentives or support for businesses and companies, Mexico cannot sustain its economy.

The above-mentioned measures were initially planned to remain in force until the April 20. It is anticipated that the measures will be extended and predict will remain in force until at least the end of May 2020.