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McDonalds closes seating areas in all UK restaurants

PUBLISHED: 20:38 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 21:29 17 March 2020

The McDonalds restaurant in Haymarket which, like those in the rest of the UK and Ireland, will see its seating areas temporarily closed to customers from 5am on Wednesday. Picture: Sam Russell

The McDonalds restaurant in Haymarket which, like those in the rest of the UK and Ireland, will see its seating areas temporarily closed to customers from 5am on Wednesday. Picture: Sam Russell

Archant

All McDonalds restaurants in Norfolk and across the rest of the UK and Ireland will become takeaways, drive-thrus and delivery operations as the company attempts to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

The fast food chain currently has 19 eateries in Norfolk, but customers will temporarily be unable to use seating areas as the company looks to reduce physical contact between people in the spirit of social distancing.

In a statement, chief executive Paul Pomroy wrote: “Our restaurants will remain open for as long as it is safe to do so.

“In the last 24 hours it has become clear that we need to temporarily change our operations to ensure the wellbeing of our employees and customers consistent with the Government’s guidance on social distancing.

“Therefore from 5am tomorrow (Wednesday) morning all restaurants will close seating areas and temporarily move to being takeaway, drive-thru and McDelivery only.”

All restaurants will scrap dine-in operations, shut seating and close children’s play areas, but toilets will remain open.

READ MORE: Tesco to close 24-hour stores overnight to re-stock after panic-buying

He added that all orders placed through Uber Eats and Just Eat would be “contact-free, with no physical contact between customers, employees and couriers, wherever possible”.

Workers in the emergency services and health and social care sectors will receive free drinks on presentation of their work pass.

The chain’s annual Monopoly promotion is being paused until later in the year, the company added.

Mr Pomroy said: “This year’s prizes include a number of luxury holidays, European city breaks and cruises which will have all been impacted by current and ongoing restrictions on international travel.

“Following conversations with our suppliers and prize partners, we feel it is appropriate to delay the promotion until later this year.”

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