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Another false rumor triggers panic buying in the liquor aisle

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Shoppers at Chedraui Selecto in Mérida lined up with carts filled with liquor after a false story on an alcohol sales ban spread on social networks. Photo: Mark Callum

A phony announcement warning of a new alcohol sales ban in Yucatán sent nervous crowds filling their shopping carts with beer, wine and liquor.

Health ministry officials denounced the fake news and promised no “ley seca,” or dry law, in December.

After multiple alcohol bans since April, citizens have reason to doubt a free-flow of alcohol on Christmas and New Year’s. Even some store managers went along with the false announcement, according to La Jornada Maya, with many taping off their liquor sections on Tuesday afternoon.

It was the second time this month that the Yucatan Health Secretariat had to clarify false rumors circulating on social networks that a new prohibition would be enacted. Consumers were told the ban would start today and last until Jan. 2 to discourage crowded posadas during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We invite you to follow our official accounts and avoid spreading false or inaccurate information on establishing the Prohibition Law again,” the health department posted on social media.

Diario de Yucatan speculated that the phony announcements could be a marketing strategy to boost sales.

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