The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating across the world, with unpredictable effects roiling every facet of society. And now, the production of Corona beer will soon grind to a halt — along with several other popular Mexican beers.
On Thursday, Mexico’s Grupo Modelo announced that it would shutter operations at its 11 breweries across the country on Sunday. For now, this will effectively cease production for all of the company’s brands include Modelo, Pacifico, Victoria, León, and Estrella Jalisco.
The halt in production comes after business activities of breweries were declared non-essential under the health emergency decreed by the Mexican government. And that move was made in an ongoing effort to contain the pandemic.
On Thursday, health officials reported 1,510 confirmed cases and 50 deaths — a number many fear is the tip of the iceberg amid low numbers of tests and delayed moves to clamp down on large gatherings in the Latin American nation.
In a statement, the brewing giant announced:
“If the federal government considers it appropriate to issue some clarification confirming beer as an agro-industrial product, at Grupo Modelo we are ready to execute a plan with more than 75 percent of our staff working from home and at the same time guaranteeing the supply of beer.”
The move also comes as false rumors of a dry law — an alleged prohibition on alcohol sales — caused a wave of panic-buying of beer and liquor in parts of the country as anxiety grows among Mexicans about the prospect of being stuck indoors with little to do.
The Chicago Tribune reported that U.S. distributors have six weeks of Mexican beer in reserve, and experts say that consumers shouldn’t rush to stock up on their favorite lagers from South of the Border.