Paul Pomroy, Chief Executive Officer of McDonald’s UK & Ireland 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 at the latest.
Mr Pomroy said the decision was not taken lightly, saying the restaurants have played an important role in the community by providing free drinks to frontline health and social workers and emergency services personnel.
The statement continued: “But 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 to temporarily close.
“We will be working closely with community groups across the UK and Ireland to distribute food from our restaurants to those most in need, and ahead of closing tomorrow evening, will ensure frontline health workers and emergency services personnel do not have to pay for any food or drink in our restaurants on sight of their work pass.
“I want to thank every single one of our 135,000 employees. I am so proud of them all for adapting so quickly to a constantly evolving work environment, taking every step to keep our customers, couriers and teams safe and looking after each other so very well.
“We will continue to update you thorough our website, social media channels and email alerts in the coming weeks but in the meantime we thank you for your continued support and custom.”