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McDonald’s to close all UK restaurants

Photo credit: Matthew Horwood

McDoanld’s has announced plans to close all 1,270 of its UK restaurants by the end of Monday.

This follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Friday, that all restaurants and cafes should close, apart from takeaway food outlets.

Stores were only open for takeaway orders due to fears surrounding the coronavirus. Photo: Matthew Horwood

The franchise network who collectively employs 135,000 people in the UK, has said it wants to protect the wellbeing of staff and customers.

Social distancing measures in operation at a McDonald’s in Cardiff. Photo credit: Matthew Horwood

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, McDonald’s had introduced a number of measures to increase social distancing efforts. They had included closing the seatings areas and placing tape down on the floors to encourage people to space out while collecting orders.

In a statement on their website, Paul Pomroy, Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s UK & Ireland said:

“Over the last 24 hours, it has become clear that maintaining safe social distancing whilst operating busy takeaway and Drive Thru restaurants is increasingly difficult and therefore we have taken the decision to close every restaurant in the UK and Ireland by 7pm on Monday 23rd March.

“We have not taken this decision lightly and know that our restaurants have been playing an important role in the community providing hundreds of thousands of free drinks to frontline health and social workers and emergency services personnel.

“But I have been clear throughout this that we would only continue to operate whilst it was safe for our people and together with our franchisees, we feel now is the time to make this decision to temporarily close.

“We will be working closely with community groups across the UK and Ireland to distribute food from our restaurants to those most in need, and ahead of closing tomorrow evening, will ensure frontline health workers and emergency services personnel do not have to pay for any food or drink in our restaurants on sight of their work pass.

“I want to thank every single one of our 135,000 employees. I am so proud of them all for adapting so quickly to a constantly evolving work environment, taking every step to keep our customers, couriers and teams safe and looking after each other so very well.

“We will continue to update you thorough our website, social media channels and email alerts in the coming weeks but in the meantime we thank you for your continued support and custom.

“Take care of one another in these unprecedented times, we look forward to seeing you again as soon as it is safe for us to reopen.”