McDonald’s shuts all seating areas amid coronavirus fears

McDonald's at Cardinal Park in Ipswich. The restaurant chain is shutting all seating areas to focus

McDonald's at Cardinal Park in Ipswich. The restaurant chain is shutting all seating areas to focus on takeaway, drive-thru and delivery services. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Fast food restaurant chain McDonald’s has said it is closing all seating areas in its Suffolk eateries and focusing on its takeaway, drive-thru and delivery services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The move, which also applies across all of the UK from 5am today (Wednesday, March 18), comes after the government urged to people to stop all non-essential contact in a bid to halt the spread of the disease.

MORE: Join our Facebook group for updates on coronavirusA statement on the company’s Facebook page said that: “In these unprecedented times, our restaurants will continue to remain open for as long as it is safe to do so.”

However it said it had to make changes “to ensure the wellbeing of our employees and customers”.

It also said the drive-thrus and McDelivery orders would be contact-free “with no physical contact between customers, employees and couriers wherever possible”.

MORE: All of the coronavirus news in SuffolkChildren’s play areas will also be closed, although toilets will remain open.

A spokesman for McDonald’s also said that “if a company-owned restaurant employee needs to self-isolate for 14 days we will pay them for this period, based on their average working hours”.

MORE: 407 more cases of coronavirus in UK shows largest rise in 24 hoursThe spokesman added: “This applies to both those on guaranteed hour contracts and flexible contracts working in company-owned restaurants.

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“We are closely monitoring the situation and may review this as the Covid-19 response develops.”

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