All McDonald’s restaurants in the UK and Ireland will close to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.
The restaurant chain had been open for takeaways, drive-thrus and delivery operations as it reduced its operations.
Doors are to close at 7pm on Monday, March 23.
The size of the McDonald’s footprint in the UK and Ireland is huge, serving four million customers every day in 1,350 restaurants and employing more than 130,000 people.
The fast-food company said it has taken the “difficult decision” in a statement posted to Twitter – adding that stores will close by that time on Monday “at the latest”.
The decision comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for pubs, clubs and restaurants to shut on Friday.
In a statement, a company spokesperson said: “This is not a decision we are taking lightly, but one made with the wellbeing and safety of our employees in mind as well as the best interests of our customers.
“We will work with local community groups to responsibly distribute food and drink from our restaurants in the coming days.
“Thank you to our brilliant employees for their hard work during this incredibly challenging time.
“We look forward to seeing you all again as soon as it is safe for us to reopen.”