McDonald’s is closing all its restaurants in the UK and Ireland over the coronavirus outbreak.
The company plans to shut its branches by 7pm tomorrow, while also working with community groups to distribute food and drink in the coming days.
Bosses decided to close the restaurants in part because of concerns about ‘safe social distancing’ during takeaway and drive-thru collections.
The fast food chain plans to offer free food and drink to all frontline health and emergency service workers before the closures tomorrow evening.
It comes after the Government ordered restaurants, cafes, pubs and other public places to close in a bid to stem the spread of the disease.
A spokesman said: “We have taken the difficult decision to close all McDonald’s restaurants in the UK and Ireland by 7pm on Monday 23rd March at the latest.
“This is not a decision we are taking lightly, but one made with the well-being and safety of our employees in mind as well as in the best interests of our customers.
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“We will work with local community groups to responsibly distribute food and drink from our restaurants in the coming days.
“Thank you to our brilliant employees for their hard work during this incredibly challenging time.
“We look forward to seeing you all again as soon as it is safe for us to reopen.”
The fast food giant had closed the seating areas in its restaurants after the Government shut pubs, clubs, cafes and eateries on Friday.
However it continued its takeaway, drive-thru and McDelivery services.
Boris Johnson told the venues to shut “as soon as they reasonably can” as he acknowledged it was a “huge wrench” to close Britain’s social venues.
The PM said nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms, and leisure centres had to close too.
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