MCDONALD’s will close all its UK restaurants in response to coronavirus and will instead only provide takeaway and drive-thru services.
The fast food giant said customers would only be able to access takeaway meals from 5am on Wednesday in a bid to help stop the spread of the killer bug.
A McDonald’s eaterie in the US is closed to the public. Now restaurants in the UK and Ireland have followed suit
The restaurant sections of all 1,300 sites were being shutdown – forcing customers desperate for a Big Mac to use the car access.
McDonald’s UK CEO Paul Pomroy said: “Our restaurants will remain open for as long as it is safe to do so.
“In the last 24 hours it has become clear that we need to temporarily change our operations to ensure the wellbeing of our employees and customers consistent with the governments’ guidance on social distancing.
“Therefore from 5am tomorrow morning all restaurants will close seating areas and temporarily move to being takeaway, Drive Thru and McDelivery only.”
Mcdonald’s said toilets and handwashing facilities would remain open wherever possible but seating areas and children’s play areas would all be closed.
The company vowed all Drive Thrus and all McDelivery orders via Uber Eats and Just Eat were being guaranteed as “contact-free” with immediate effect.
A spokesman said: “The wellbeing of our employees, customers and suppliers remains of the greatest importance to us and these changes are designed with you all in mind.
“We have not taken this decision lightly and will continue to review this over the coming days.”
Drive-thru and delivery services will still be available, McDonald’s said
In a blow to regulars the firm announced it would also be delaying its popular Monopoly promotion until bosses could “be confident that customers can win, claim and redeem the prizes available.”
The chain said the decision had been taken because this year’s prizes include a number of luxury holidays, European city breaks and cruises which would have all been impacted.
Mr Pomroy added: “I apologise for any disappointment caused by this update and I look forward to Monopoly returning to our restaurants as soon as possible.”
The firm also said it would be offering emergency services and health personnel free drinks.
Mr Pomroy said: “Whilst it is safe to remain open, we want to do what we can to support those services working tirelessly to keep us all safe and well.
“From this week, in all UK restaurants we are offering all emergency services personnel, health and social care workers free drinks, on sight of their work pass.
“It is a small token of our appreciation for everything that these services are doing and we will continue to keep this under review as government and health authority guidance develops.”
The move follows similar measures taken in the US where restaurants have switched to reduced operations to help support social distancing.
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