How will the vaccine roll out in different jurisdictions impact cross-border businesses? What will professional advisors need to ensure best practice and governance are carried out?

The Colombian government declared a health emergency due to the spread of Covid-19 on March 12, 2020, which was extended until August 31, 2021. During this time, the Government has issued different decrees and resolutions establishing isolation measures and biosafety protocols that must be complied with by the country’s population. This generally includes some exceptions, not allowing public or private events that involve crowds, or face-to-face activities in nightclubs and dance venues, or consumption of alcohol in public spaces and commercial establishments.

Likewise, the prioritization of work from home was established when the presence of officials was not required in the workplace. The borders were closed, except for some activities, with Panama, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil, which were reopened on May 19 and Venezuela, which was reopened on June 1.

After rolling out the vaccination process, the Government established through Resolution 777 of June 2, 2021 the criteria for the economic reopening of public and private events – including concerts, sporting events, dance venues, congresses and business fairs.

Likewise, it indicated that the return to work, contractual and educational activities may be initiated in person by people who received the complete jab scheme. However, those people who decided to not get vaccinated have to be included in the return-to-work strategies. The Resolution also adopted the Biosafety Protocol for the development of economic, social and State activities.

These measures are national in scope, affecting cross-border companies. Professional advisors must advise their clients
regarding employees and contractors who are not immunized to implement measures for a return to face-to-face activities in a safer way for the entire staff. Along with this are the modifications or updates to the Biosafety Protocols that all companies in Colombia should have implemented. In addition, we have to look at the measures taken by neighbouring countries regarding the implementation of similar protocols in their own countries.