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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.

 

Face Masks

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.

Health Screenings

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
Argentina No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
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
Belgium Yes No TBD TBD Yes Yes Yes
Brazil Yes Yes No 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
Chile Yes Yes Yes No TBD Yes Yes Yes
China Yes Yes Yes Yes (Only Govt. initiated apps) Yes
Croatia Yes Yes TBD Yes Yes
Cyprus Yes (in some sectors) Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Czech Republic Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No 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
Mexico Yes Yes No
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
Norway No No No 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
Serbia Yes Yes Yes (TBD) Yes 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
S.Korea Yes No No Yes Yes
Spain No Government guidance
Sweden No No No No Yes Yes No Yes
Switzerland Yes No TBD Yes Yes Yes
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
UAE Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No

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