Decree No. 494/2021 was published in the Official Gazette ordering, among other things, sanitary measures to mitigate the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 Virus throughout the entire country and cities under epidemiological alarm.
The main restrictions imposed by the decree include:
- Work environment: Workers are precluded from gathering for breaks, recreation, meals or any other type of activity in closed spaces without strict adherence to a social distance of two (2) meters. In addition, the spaces in which they gather must have constant and adequate ventilation. Employers must adapt break schedules and break rooms accordingly and take any other necessary measure to enforce these requirements.
- Exemptions from the duty to perform work tasks in person: When non-attendance to the workplace is justified under Joint Resolution of the Ministries of Health and Labor, Employment and Social Security No. 4, workers will receive the non-remunerative compensation previously established under emergency regulations.
- Telework: Unlike previous regulations, the new decree does not compel employers to encourage workers who can work remotely to do so.
- Capacity: Economic, industrial, and commercial activities in closed spaces, among others, must be performed in compliance with an operating protocol that has been previously approved by the relevant health authority. That performance may only involve a maximum capacity of seventy percent (70%) of the employer’s authorized capacity.
Cities under “epidemiological and sanitary alarm” are also subject to additional temporary restrictions for nine (9) days. These temporary restrictions include, among others: (i) limited circulation between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day, although some persons are exempted; (ii) ban on massive events, (iii) restriction of economic, industrial, and commercial activities in closed spaces to a maximum capacity of fifty percent (50%) of the employer’s authorized capacity, and (iv) restriction of public passenger transportation to individuals who perform those activities and services or are otherwise deemed essential or exempt as well as to individuals and their companions who have to commute to receive health care or get vaccinated.
Finally, the border closure is extended until 1 October 2021.
The decree will be in force from August 7, 2021 to October 1, 2021.