International requirements for employers when lifting restrictions during Covid-19
13 July 2020
Every country is experiencing different rates and peaks of Covid-19, but as many start to ease restrictions, international employers may need to adopt multiple strategies for returning to places of work, based on the government guidance in each jurisdiction.
International requirements summary
The data in the infographic and summary below represents the situation in each jurisdiction between 11th – 15th May 2020 and the figures discussed are based on the jurisdictions which have published guidance relating to these requirements. For the most recent government requirements when lifting restrictions during Covd-19 in each jurisdiction please view our interactive table below which is regularly updated. Alternatively to view the latest updates across multiple jurisdictions please visit the Ius Laboris site.
We have summarised some of the key measures governments across jurisdictions are adopting, which aim to start lifting restrictions and for workforces to return to some form of normality. Please click on the infographic below or read our summary to understand the key similarities and differences across the jurisdictions.
The majority of countries will require face masks to be worn in the workplace, if social distancing measures cannot be maintained.
47% of the countries offering government guidance, have stated that face masks will only be mandatory within specific client facing industries, such as hospitality, the sale of goods, commercial and service sectors.
Whilst very few countries have the authority to enforce mandatory health/Covid-19 testing on employees, 61% of the countries offering government guidance can request for employees to be tested if they are displaying Covid-19 symptoms in the workplace.
Track and Trace App
It is not mandatory for employees to download any form of Track and Trace mobile application in 81% of the countries offering government guidance.
Installation of such tracing apps could be regarded as excessive intrusion into employee privacy. It is only permitted in Austria and Singapore, if the employee is provided with a work mobile device.
Social distancing measures
100% of the coutnries offering government guidance, expect the same social distancing measures that are expected in public places, to be upheld in the workplace. This would see employees keeping up to 2 metres of distance apart from each other.
Fear of Infection
Generally, across countries, employees are not entitled to refuse to return to the workplace based on a fear of infection.
Across all countries providing guidance, just over half stipulate that employees cannot refuse to return to work onsite, unless there are clear indications that the working environment is unsafe or they have specific high-risk group concerns.
Countries implementing the most measures
Some coutnries within the APAC region were particularly cautious with lifting their workplace restrictions, such as Singapore, Thailand and China.
Singapore’s guidance permits face masks to be worn while on public transport and in the workplace, temperature checks on arrival, social distancing measures within the workplace and various adjustments to be made to accommodate this, such as staggering work hours and mandatory downloading of track and trace apps on work mobile devices.
International requirements when lifting Covid-19 restrictions
To find out which measures apply to jurisdictions you are operating in please filter the table below.
This table was updated on 13 July 2020.
|Country||Facemasks compulsory when commuting||Facemasks compulsory in work||Temperature checks on entry allowed||Ability to request mandatory CV19/ health screening||Mandatory downloading of track and trace apps||Develop/ Review infection control/ H&S policy||Social distancing measures in the workplace||Employees permitted to refuse to work onsite (fear of infection)||Workplace adjustments (rotas, teams, change in hrs)||Extension of work suspension due to reduction of activity|
|Australia||No Government guidance|
|Austria||Yes||Yes (in some sectors)||Yes||Yes (only work phones)||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Bahrain||Yes||Yes (in some sectors)||Yes (to some extent)||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bulgaria||Yes||Yes (in some areas)||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Canada||Yes (if social distancing is not possible in workplace)||Yes||Yes (to some extent)||TBD||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|China||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (Only Govt. initiated apps)||Yes|
|Cyprus||Yes (in some sectors)||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Denmark||No (special guidelines apply in some sectors||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Finland||Yes (physical examination)||No||Yes||No|
|France||No (at employer's discretion)||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Germany||Yes||Yes (in some sectors)||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Greece||Yes||Yes||Yes (with consent)||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|HK||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes (where there have been confirmed cases)|
|Hungary||No||No||Yes (to some extent)||No||Yes||Yes|
|India||TBD||Yes||Yes (to some extent)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ireland||Yes||TBD||No||Yes||Yes||Yes (to some extent)||No|
|Italy||TBD||Yes||Yes||Yes (to some extent)||TBD||Yes||Yes||ius||Yes||Yes (to some extent)|
|Japan||No Government guidance|
|Latvia||Yes||Yes (at employer's discretion)||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Lituania||No Government guidance|
|Luxembourg||Yes||Yes (in some sectors)||No||Yes||Yes (to some extent)||Yes|
|Malta||No Government guidance|
|Netherlands||Yes||Yes (in some sectors)||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|New Zealand||Yes (in some sectors)||Yes (to some extent)||TBD||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Poland||Yes||Yes||Yes (to some extent)||Yes||Yes|
|Portugal||Yes||Yes (in some sectors)||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Peru||Yes (in some sectors)||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Romania||TBD||TBD||TBD||Yes (to some extent)||No||TBD||TBD||Yes|
|Russia||Yes||Yes (in some sectors)||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Saudi Arabia||Yes (to some extent)||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Singapore||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (to some extent)||Yes (only work phones)||Yes||Yes|
|Slovenia||Yes||Yes (in some sectors)||TBD||No||TBD||Yes||Yes||Yes (to some extent)||Yes|
|Spain||No Government guidance|
|Thailand||Yes||Yes||Yes (to some extent)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Turkey||Yes (in some sectors)||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes (to some extent)||Yes|
|Ukraine||No||Yes (in some sectors)||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|UK||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes (to some extent)||Yes|
|US||Yes (in some cases)||Yes||Yes||TBD||Yes||TBD||Yes (to some extent)||TBD|
Covid 19 - Coronavirus
Our advice on responding to the coronavirus outbreak.
With the rapidly changing status of COVID-19, businesses are facing many urgent and unique challenges.
Lewis Silkin’s International Desk in the UK works seamlessly with our regional office in Hong Kong to support clients based in the Asia Pacific region with their UK and European legal requirements as well as supporting business’ legal needs in Asia Pacific.
Employer & employee relations
Our advice on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and our guidance on how employers should respond in the UK and internationally.