All McDonald’s restaurants in the Republic of Ireland and the UK will close by 7pm on Monday to protect the safety of employees and customers, the company said.
The fast-food company said it had taken the “difficult decision” in a statement posted to Twitter – adding that stores will close by that time on Monday “at the latest”.
In a statement on Sunday night, UK and Ireland CEO Paul Pomroy 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.
“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 in 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.”