Although Coronavirus (Covid-19) has been spreading over since January 2020, it only arrived officially to Colombia on March 6th, 2020.  In response, Colombian government has been working together with the World Health Organization (WHO) with an aim at mitigating and reducing the spread of the outbreak in Colombia.  Below, please find a summary of some of the most relevant measures adopted so far by the Colombian government.

As a consequence of specific measures listed below and more broadly the government call to keep isolation as much as possible, a slowdown in business activities is expected.  Responsive company reaction to protect employee’s and community’s health will also be expected.  Industries will need to be prepared to avoid or mitigate some of the foreseeable negative economic impacts arising out of an anticipated slowdown.  Banking, retail and commerce, hospitality, ports and international trade, services and agroindustry are only some examples of industries that will likely result affected.

Measures summarized in this document may impact the ordinary course of businesses in Colombia, including by:

  • Changes in customary working and business hours while the health emergency persists.
  • The necessary application of telework in some companies.
  • Suspension of performance of contractual obligations due to measures imposed by the government.
  • Potential allegations of force majeure and act of god to excuse failure to comply with contractual obligations.
  • Failure to achieve quorums or required majorities in the upcoming season of annual shareholders’ meetings of companies.
  • Extemporaneous presentation and payment of tax declarations.
  • Possibility of new risks coverage through short-term non – deliverable forwards (NDF) created by the government.
  • The imposition of administrative fines to companies by health authorities in cases of failure to comply with public health protective orders.
  • Migratory barriers for international travelers or international investors coming from abroad. Possibility of entering in compulsory quarantine.
  • Cancellation of all social and business events, including legal and economic conferences.
  • Internal and voluntary measures to avoid face-to-face meetings and consequently unexpected delays in business and transaction arrangements.
  • Potential insurance claims with insurance companies to cover damages caused by coronavirus and its effects in the economy.
  • Potential imposition of new customs barriers related to the importation from and exportation to affected countries by coronavirus.
  • Suspension of judicial terms and cancellation of public hearings already scheduled.

Potential prosecution by the Colombian General Attorney’s Office due to the commission of a crime regarding the violation of sanitary measures or the criminal intent of propagation of the COVID-19.

You can find other measures adopted in the following bulletin.

Bulletin PHR | COVID 19