In Mexico, Dry Laws, Alcohol Shortages Leave Customers Frantic For Beer

Published: Monday, May 4, 2020 - 4:57pm
Updated: Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - 7:37am
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Over the weekend, thousands of Sonorans lined up for hours outside convenience stores to buy beer, openly flouting the state’s strict stay-at-home orders.

"Today I ask you, what part haven't you understood?" Sonoran Health Secretary Enrique Clausen asked Sonorans during a Friday press conference. "We've been telling you that the most difficult weeks of the contagion are coming ... And I can't believe that many of you, after almost 50 days of so much sacrifice, have decided to relax."

Clausen reminded Sonorans that leaving the house for nonessential reasons and failing to use social distancing guidelines could mean increasing the burden on local hospitals, urging them not to continue making special trips to the store for beer and to avoid crowds at convenience stores.

"If you go out for beer, you get sick. And if you get sick, you put yourself and your family at risk," he said. "I'm asking you, is it worth it?"

But Sonorans aren’t the only ones in Mexico scrambling to get their hands on alcohol.

Beer supplies are running low since production was deemed nonessential by the Mexican government in March, and many state leaders have implemented total or partial bans on sales in an attempt to reduce gatherings. In Sonora, the state has not banned alcohol, but has reduced store hours.

In some parts of the country, that scarcity has led to soaring prices and panicked shoppers but not necessarily to lower rates of coronavirus infection.

As for Sonora, so far Clausen’s warnings haven’t diminished the demand for beer.

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