COVID-19: Mcdonald's and Nando's to close doors in the UK
Major restaurant chains McDonald’s and Nando’s are the next stores to close their doors in the fight to prevent the spread of Coronavirus across the UK.
As of today, the American food and beverage giant McDonald's will close the doors of its 1,270 restaurants in the UK in order to prevent the further spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition to this, Nando’s will also be closing its doors until the pandemic is under control.
Paul Pomroy Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s UK & Ireland expressed his gratitude to McDonald's employees, "who have been working hard to continue to serve you safely in difficult circumstances."
The decision follows shortly on from the realisation that operating the Drive-Thru during busy hours was not ensuring the recommended social distancing as outlined by the UK Priminister, Boris Johnson in his prevention strategy outlined at the end of last week. As it has been recommended for all UK citizens to stay home unless absolutely vital, having the chain open presents a further challenge to public health. All stores will be closing at 7pm GMT on 23 March 2020.
Pomroy emphasises that this was not a decision made lightly, but one that was made with the understanding of the social impact held by the fast-food giant. In recent days, the chain has played its part in supporting key workers across the UK and Northern Island by providing hundreds of thousands of free drinks and beverages.
Pomroy asserts that despite closures, McDonald's will continue to support community groups across the UK and Ireland in distributing food from the restaurants to those most in need while ensuring that until the doors close, front line and key workers will not have to pay for goods. Over 135,000 employees are currently employed by McDonald's in the UK, and it is not yet known
Nando's has also announced at the same time that it will be closing its doors as well stopping its collection and delivery services during this time. The chain also has yet to announce when it will be reopening, but if the progression of the virus in the UK is anything to measure against other countries such as Italy and China, it may be at least three months until the chains will consider reopening.
A number of major retailers have also announced that they will be closing stores for the foreseeable future, including Primark, Pret a Manger and Starbucks. As the current trend plays out, we can expect the UK highstreets to be largely empty by the end of next week.
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