The Ministry of Work issued the guidelines for the progressive and safe return to the workplace in the private sector. The decree mainly establishes:
Protocols and guidelines:
- Employers and employees must comply with the guidelines established in the “Guide and General Plan for the Progressive and Safe Return to the Workplace”.
- Employers will carry out the health and safety protocols against COVID-19 and the necessary training to ensure familiarization and application of the protocols.
- Employers have the power to decide which employees, immunized or not, must return to the workplace.
- Employees with an aggravating condition who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 will return to the workplace as indicated by their employer, once 14 days have passed since they were fully vaccinated.
- Those responsible for the care of a person with an aggravating condition who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 will return to the workplace as indicated by their employer, once 14 days have passed since they were fully vaccinated.
- In cases where an aggravating condition as regards COVID-19 persists despite vaccination, teleworking will remain in place in accordance with the opinion of the occupational doctor.
- Exposure to COVID-19 will not be a justified reason for not returning to the workplace.
Guide and general plan for the progressive and safe return to the workplace
The “Guide and General Plan for the Progressive and Safe Return to the Workplace”, approved by the national government emergency committee on June 29, 2021, mainly establishes that:
- An aggravating condition is considered to be a physiological condition in an unvaccinated person which may be aggravated by COVID-19:
- People over the age of 65.
- People with noncommunicable chronic diseases.
- People with cardiovascular diseases.
- People with cerebrovascular diseases.
- Disability of 50% or more.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- Any kind of congenital heart defects and all kinds of valvular heart diseases.
- Cancer patients and oncohematological patients with a recent diagnosis or active disease.
- Any kind of brain tumor at any stage.
- Chronic kidney failure.
- Solid organ transplants and those on a waiting list for a transplant.
- Sequelae of severe burns.
- Brain arteriovenous malformations.
- Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome.
- Thoracic aortic aneurysm.
- People with HIV and who are in a terminal stage.
- People who have pulmonary tuberculosis, active tuberculosis.
- Other risk factors related to health, such as severe obesity and chronic asthma.
- The national government emergency committee must define the restrictions on capacity.
- The employer must consider the following for the progressive return to the workplace:
- Immunization status and aggravating conditions.
- Occupational health and safety measures.
- Agreements already entered into with employees.
- Crowds and capacity.
- The following persons should not return to the workplace, at the discretion of the occupational doctor:
- Employees with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
- Employees who have symptoms which could be associated with COVID-19, until a positive case has been ruled out.
- Employees who have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, that is, within one meter for more than 15 minutes and without a mask in an environment without ventilation, even in the absence of symptoms, for a period of at least 14 days.
- Employees who have an aggravating condition as regards COVID-19 and who are unvaccinated.
- The employer will train employees in biological risks and the prevention thereof.
- The use of masks is obligatory during the work shift.
- A distance of at least two meters must be maintained.
- The employer will guarantee the provision of hygiene products in order to carry out prevention and control activities.
 Ministerial Decree No. 214 of July 9, 2021. Available at the website of the Ministry of Work: https://www.trabajo.gob.ec/acuerdos-ministeriales/