Latin America in the Time of COVID-19: One Region Facing Common Challenges With Different Answers

May 5, 2020 (Updated June 11, 2020)

This LawFlash provides a summary on navigating the regulatory landscape in various jurisdictions throughout the Latin America region during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every economy and region in the globe. Latin America is widely perceived to be one of the most affected regions given its undeniable connection and reliance on international companies doing businesses there. We provide a summary of the current legal landscape in some of the most relevant jurisdictions, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay as it concerns challenges that the pandemic is presenting to international companies operating in Latin America.

Questions we answer include:

  • Are employer mandatory screenings and medical evaluations enforceable?       
  • Has any economic package (e.g., government sponsor loans, tax incentives) been adopted?         
  • Is there a concept similar to “furlough”?
  • If it exists, what is the procedure and legal terms for its exercise?  
  • If it does not exist, what options would the employer have before Acts of God (or extreme circumstances such as those we are experiencing), and what are the risks of implementing furlough-type strategies in the jurisdiction?

This summary will be updated regularly as the legal landscape evolves in Latin American countries.

The Latin America team at Morgan Lewis has deep cultural and business ties with the region and a unique understanding of the challenges presented to our clients doing business there, and the necessary tools to address them. We work closely with a trusted network of local Latin America law firms. This lawflash and the legal landscape analysis document are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We are ready to work with you and address your questions involving COVID-19 or any other matters you are facing while doing business in Latin America.


For our clients, we have formed a multidisciplinary Coronavirus COVID-19 Task Force to help guide you through the broad scope of legal issues brought on by this public health challenge. We also have launched a resource page to help keep you on top of developments as they unfold. If you would like to receive a daily digest of all new updates to the page, please subscribe now to receive our COVID-19 alerts.


If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Humberto Padilla
John Crespo
Felipe Alice

New York
Tom Mellor