25-Mar-2020 - dpa Deutsche Presseagentur GmbH

McDonald's To Close All Restaurants In UK

- McDonald's Corp. is temporarily closing down all its restaurants in the U.K and Ireland after 7 pm on Monday, March 23, as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to spread and worsen. The company operates about 1,360 restaurants in the UK and Ireland.

The fast-food chain said it is taking this decision for the well-being and safety of its employees as well as the best interest of customers.

McDonald's is providing food and drink free to all frontline health workers and emergency services personnel ahead of the closing on Monday on production of an ID.

Over the weekend, McDonald's had had said it would reduce overnight hours, with individual restaurants having varying opening hours.

Earlier last week, the company had closed seated dining areas at its restaurants and kept open Takeaway, Drive Thru and McDelivery only in support of the Government guidelines on social distancing.

They introduced new Drive Thru and McDelivery procedures to minimize contact between employees, customers and couriers. Floor guides were provided to ensure customers coming to collect food and drinks keep a safe distance from one another.

However, it become clear after 24 hours of this procedure that maintaining safe social distancing whilst operating busy takeaway and Drive Thru restaurants was increasingly difficult, and therefore it took the decision to close every restaurant in the UK and Ireland.

McDonald's U.S. company-owned restaurants have until now only closed seating areas, including the use of self-service beverage bars and kiosks, and shifted its focus to serving customers through Drive-Thru, walk-in take-out and McDelivery. (dpa)

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