MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Grupo Modelo said on Thursday it will temporarily stop brewing Corona beer and other brands exported to 180 countries after its business activities were declared non-essential under a government order aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
The Mexican government this week declared a health emergency and ordered the suspension of non-essential activities after the number of coronavirus cases in the country surpassed 1,000. On Thursday, it reported 1,510 cases and 50 deaths.
The brewer said in a statement that the suspension will go into place from Sunday and that it was already in the process of scaling down production to a level at which it could resume once the suspension is lifted.
“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% of our staff working from home and at the same time guaranteeing the supply of beer,” the statement said.
Agriculture and food production in general are considered essential activities.
Grupo Modelo <GPMCF.PK>, which is part of the brewing group Anheuser-Busch InBev, operates 11 breweries in Mexico.
(Reporting by Adriana Barrera; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Edwina Gibbs)