Omicron Could Cause Liquor Shortage, Michigan Warns
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State Warns Omicron Variant Could Introduce Spirits Shortage


Bottles of liquor are seen Jan. 3, 2020 at the Speakeasy bar and club in Washington, DC. The (Photo by ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission is warning that rising cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 are affecting staffing at Michigan’s liquor distribution centers, which could lead to supply-chain holdups with booze shipments.

Michigan Liquor Control Commission advised retailer licensees such as bars, restaurants , golf clubs and hotels to place large orders and space out orders to ease the burden of staff shortages, MLive reported. Instead of ordering split cases, which are more labor-intensive to put together, the MLCC advised businesses to order full cases every two to three weeks.

The announcement was a precautionary measure, MLCC public information officer Jeannie Vogel said, according to MLive. Vogel said that at this time, the MLCC doesn’t foresee a shortage of liquor on shelves, so consumers need not need rush out and buy booze in bulk.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused ongoing supply chain issues worldwide. In the United Kingdom, supply-chain holdups caused by a lack of drivers (the pandemic caused 30,000 driving tests to be canceled) sparked The Wine and Spirit Trade Association to ask the government for help. Meanwhile, proprietors of bars and restaurants in some of the biggest cities in Spain have found it difficult to order popular spirits brands such as Beefeater gin, Absolut vodka and Patrón Tequila.

In Norway, the widespread nature of the Omicron variant prompted a ban on booze sales in bars and restaurants.

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