Restaurant chains McDonald’s and Nando’s have announced that they will close all of their restaurants in the UK to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Both McDonald’s and Nando’s announced the closure of their restaurants in the UK as part of an effort to hamper the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
McDonald’s said it will close all 1,270 of its restaurants in the UK by the end of Monday while Nando’s has closed its approximately 400 restaurants in the country “until further notice”.
Coffee chain Costa also closed its UK branches, with more than 2,000 shops to shut down by the end of Monday.
On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said restaurants and cafes must close but allowed takeout food places.
McDonald’s, which employs around 135,000 people in the UK, the majority of which are on zero-hours contracts, said that those employed directly by the company would receive full pay for their scheduled hours until April 5.
A McDonald’s spokeswoman said the company expects franchises, which decide their own pay policies, to follow suit. Prior to complete closure, McDonald’s closed its seating areas but continued to offer takeaway and drive-through services.
McDonald’s UK CEO Paul Pomroy, 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 23 March.”
In a tweet, Nando’s stated that its leaders have “decided that the best course of action right now is to temporarily close our restaurants” and that the health and safety of its customers and staff was its “highest priority”.
Meanwhile, Costa said its hospital branches will remain open in the mean time and will continue to provide free hot drinks to all NHS workers for the next two weeks. It will also pay in full its 19,000 staff, many of whom are on the minimum wage, for the next eight weeks.