Corona Beer Factories in Mexico Suspend Production as Government Deems Brewery Non-Essential

The Mexico-based brewing company of Corona beer is temporarily suspending the production and marketing operations after being deemed a "non-essential" business in the government's efforts to combat the ongoing outbreak of novel coronavirus in the country.

Grupo Modelo, of brewing group Anheuser-Busch InBev, said in a statement posted to Twitter it will halt work from April 5 and is currently in the process of reducing production in its plants to the "minimum necessary so as not to have irreversible effects for its continuation in the future."

The Mexican government declared a health emergency after confirming more than 1,500 people had now tested positive for COVID-19 in the country, Reuters reported.
Like many states in the U.S., government measures being put in place to limit the spread of the respiratory disease included the shuttering of "non-essential" business.

Grupo Modelo did not confirm exactly how long its beer production would halt but pledged "total commitment" to fight the outbreak alongside the country's top officials.

The company noted that agriculture was recognized as an essential business, and said it would be ready to ramp up its operations should the classifications on alcohol production be changed. Food production also remains essential, Reuters reported.

The company said, "We are one of the first companies in Mexico to have implemented and strictly followed the hygiene and safety measures recommended by the Mexican Government.

"In the event that the Federal Government considers it appropriate to issue clarification confirming beer as an agro-industrial product, at Grupo Modelo we are ready to execute a plan with more than 75% of our staff working from home and at the same time guaranteeing the supply of beer."

Grupo Modelo said it was donating 300,000 antibacterial gels that had been produced from beer, a move that follows similar efforts by its parent company to supply the hand sanitizing globally.

In late March, the U.S. and Mexico agreed to restrict all non-essential travel along the U.S.-Mexico land border to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Non-essential movement included travel that is considered as "tourism or recreational in nature," the U.S. embassy website states.

Grupo Modelo acata medidas dictadas por el Gobierno Federal para hacer frente al SARS-CoV2.

— Grupo Modelo MX (@GrupoModelo_MX) April 3, 2020

The Mexican government says restrictions on trade and non-essential work will last until at least April 30. Like other nations, Mexico banned large gatherings and urged social distancing measures. Medical centers, social programs, and critical infrastructure remain operational.

As COVID-19 spread, it was claimed that sales of Corona beer were being negatively impacted due to the similarities in its name and branding. This was denied by Constellation Brands, which handles the U.S. distribution of the beer and told CNN that sales had grown during the outbreak.

Constellation Brands Inc. reported "higher-than-expected" profits this week and said the Corona Brand Family had in fact jumped by close to 5 percent during Q4 2020, Forbes reported. The suggestion sales tanked in early 2020 was branded as false after an investigation by fact-checking site Snopes.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks.
  • Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • COVID-19 can still be picked up on gloves and transmitted by touching your face.
Corona beer
In this photo illustration, bottles of Corona beer are shown on June 7, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty

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