McDonald’s will be closing all 1,270 of its restaurants in the UK by the end of Monday, as fears over the spread of Coronavirus escalate.
On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said restaurants and cafes must close, but exempted takeaway food places. The chain has decided to completely close to help protect the well being of it’s employees and customers.
McDonald’s employs around 135,000 people in the UK, the majority of which are on zero-hours contracts.
The chain said staff employed directly by the company would receive full pay for their scheduled hours until 5 April.
By that time it expects the government’s financial aid package, announced on Friday, to have kicked in, with staff paid 80% of their wages.
McDonald’s UK boss, 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.
“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.”
McDonald’s has not announced closing it’s U.S locations as of yet.