Coronavirus: McDonald’s to fully close UK and Ireland restaurants amid pandemic

‘This is not a decision we are taking lightly, but one made with the wellbeing and safety of our employees in mind’

Vincent Wood
Sunday 22 March 2020 22:24 GMT
Coronavirus: Boris Johnson says 'tougher measures' may be imposed to tighten social distancing rules

McDonald’s will shut down all of its restaurants in the UK and Ireland after previously offering takeaway and drive-thru services amid increasing concern over the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The fast food giant first stripped back its offering on 17 March when it announced it would close all seating areas across the country to mitigate the spread of the virus, which has killed 281 people in the UK.

However in a statement the business confirmed it would go a step further by fully closing its more than 1,300 outlets across the region by 7pm on Monday.

In a statement, the company said: “We have taken the difficult decision to close all McDonalds restaurants in the UK and Ireland by 7pm on Monday 23 March at the latest.

“This is not a decision we are taking lightly, but one made with the wellbeing and safety of our employees in mind as well as in the best interests of our customers.”

The company plans to work with local community groups to distribute its leftover food.

It comes two days after the government called on all restaurants, pubs and bars to close – however in his announcement Boris Johnson left the door open to those seeking to sell meals for home delivery.

Mr Johnson had appealed for the country to take the ban seriously “to protect the NHS and save lives” but promised to review the measures “each month”

“I do accept that what we’re doing is extraordinary – we’re taking away the ancient inalienable right of freeborn people of the United Kingdom to go to the pub,” he said.

“And I can understand how people feel about that. But I say to people who do go against the advice that we’re getting, the very clear advice that we’re getting from our medical and scientific experts, you know you’re not only putting your own life, the lives of your family, at risk – you’re endangering the community.”

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