McDonald's and Nando's to close all UK restaurants due to coronavirus crisis
McDonald's and Nando's have announced they will close all their restaurants and drive-throughs across the UK from Monday evening in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.
McDonald's will shut the doors of its 1,270 restaurants while Nandos, who have approximately 400 restaurants across the country, said they will shut "until further notice" to protect staff and customers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the closure of all pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes across the UK on Friday in order to prevent the spread, but as take-away chains, both Nando's and McDonald's were exempt.
However, McDonald's UK boss, Paul Pomroy, has since 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."
This is a change in heart from decisions made by the chain last week when Mr Pomroy said they would remain open for 'as long as it is safe to do so' but took measures by reducing opening hours and cancelling their annual 'Monopoly' promotion, which offers prizes ranging from free meals to holidays and cruises overseas.
McDonald's employs approximately 135,000 people across the UK, the majority of whom are on zero-hour contracts but they have made clear that staff employed directly will be fully-paid for scheduled hours until April 5.
Nando's have followed suit and announced that their stores will also close on Monday evening.
In a tweet shared on Sunday night, they said Nando's bosses had 'decided that the best course of action right now is to temporarily close our restaurants' and that health and safety of both staff and customers was of 'highest priority'.