Four major chain restaurants have decided to temporarily close their doors.
The announcement comes and the Government prepares to step up social distancing restrictions in response to the rapid spread of Coronavirus.
McDonald’s, Costa Cofee, Nandos, and Pret are the latest to shut their doors to customers.
McDonald’s UK & Ireland Chief Executive Officer 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 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.”
“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.”
Costa Coffee Chief Executive Officer Jill McDonald said; “At Costa Coffee our number one priority is the safety of our store teams and customers. As the need to support social distancing increases, we have taken the decision to temporarily close our stores from this evening, Monday 23 March.”
“We will do our best to keep Costa stores open in hospitals where we will continue to provide free takeaway coffee for the next two weeks to the NHS workers who are at the forefront of this crisis.”
“Wherever possible, we will also keep our Costa Express machines available to serve you a great cup of coffee.”
A Nandos spokesperson said; “The safety and security of our customers and team is always our top priority and with this in mind we have taken the decision to temporarily close all of our restaurants across the UK and Ireland during the course of today, 22nd March, to help limit the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).”
“Eat in, takeaway and delivery for customers will all stop until further notice and our remaining food will be given away to those who need it most across the community.”
A Pret spokesperson said; ” want to thank our amazing teams for serving you with so much passion and kindness over the recent weeks, including more than 100,000 NHS workers.
“Pret’s first value is Happy Teams, Happy Customers and my priority is always to protect our teams as much as we can. For this reason, we will be closing all our UK shops temporarily from this evening – Saturday 21 March. We will, of course, ensure any excess food goes to those who need it.”