Source: Restrictions on alcohol sales in stores end Monday

Restrictions on sales began April 10 and are said to end June 29

Shoppers in Merida hoard beer after rumors circulate that a ban is in the works. Photo: Facebook
A beer truck makes a delivery at a Merida shop prior to the 2020 ley seca. Photo: Diario de Yucatan

Shops in Yucatan will be able to sell beer, wine and liquor directly to customers starting Monday, ending a series of dry laws that began April 10.

Citing sources in state government, Diario de Yucatan said alcohol sales will resume as normal: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in liquor stores, convenience stores and supermarkets.

Yucatan’s ley seca began as a total 20-day ban on alcohol sales to quell disturbances during the coronavirus pandemic. The measure was announced with only a few hours’ warning two-and-a-half months ago and triggered panic buying and hoarding.

The ban was extended twice until the state eased off the restrictions June 1, allowing limited quantities via home delivery. That was meant to prevent unhealthy crowding in stores that sell alcohol. But delivery apps repeatedly failed to deliver items when Cornershop and Rappi couldn’t find a mechanism that allowed retailers to cooperate with their shoppers. Consumers had to find independent distributors who had correctly coordinated with authorities or had their own warehouses.

Meanwhile, Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal warned the public that a full-on alcohol ban could return if residents didn’t demonstrate social-distancing protocols. The restrictions occurred over Semana Santa and other periods when beach areas typically open up and a party atmosphere prevails.

Alcohol-dependent citizens were forced to concoct bootleg alcohol, often with fatal results. Deaths from methanol and other toxic mixtures were in the dozens in Yucatan and in the hundreds across Mexico.

Alcohol bans aren’t unheard of in Mexico, and usually are timed around elections days when the government wants sober voters.

Bars and cantinas in Yucatan are still closed under coronavirus contingencies.

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