With the Covid-19 strain of the coronavirus continuing to spread through the UK, it was announced that all cafes, pubs and restaurants were to close from Friday 20 March in order to tackle the virus.
And while a number of food and drink outlets took the decision to remain open for takeaways, others shut their doors completely.
These are the chains across the UK that have closed their doors to customers - and the ones still available for delivery.
Posting on their McDonald’s UK Twitter account, the fast food chain announced it would be closing its doors, after initially only closing its seating areas but remaining open for takeaway.
The announcement said: “We have taken the difficult decision to close all McDonald’s restaurants in the UK and Ireland by 7pm on Monday 23 March at the latest.
“This is not a decision we are taking lightly, but one made with the well-being and safety of our employees in mind as well as in the best interests of the customers.”
The announcement thanked the hard work from their staff, and also said that they will be working “with local community groups to responsibly distribute food and drink from our restaurants in the coming days”.
The announcement ended by saying: “We look forward to seeing you all again as soon as it is safe for us to reopen.”
In a follow-up tweet, McDonald’s also said that before closing on Monday 23 March, at 7pm, all frontline health workers and emergency services personnel will be provided free food and drink on sight of an ID.
Nando’s also announced that they would be closing all their dine-in, collect and delivery services due to the outbreak.
The announcement said: “The health and safety of our customers and team is our highest priority.
“We have decided that the best course of action right now is to temporarily close our restaurants until further notice.”
Costa Coffee is closing all of its stores as well, however Costa did state that they would try and keep their stores in hospitals in operation in order to continue providing free takeaway coffee to NHS workers.
The announcement said: “At Costa coffee our number one priority is the safety of our store teams and customers. As the need to support social distancing increases, we have taken the decision to temporarily close our stores from this evening, Monday 23 March.”
The announcement also stated that, wherever possible, the Costa Express machines would continue to be available.
Starbucks closed their doors across the UK on 20 March, stating that the health and wellbeing of their employees and customers is their greatest priority.
“We will be closely monitoring the situation as it develops and hope to welcome you back very soon,” the announcement said.
The sandwich chain released their announcement stating that from 5pm today, Monday 23 March, all stores in the UK and Ireland will be closing their doors.
The announcement said: “We believe that this is the best thing to help support social distancing and keep everyone as healthy as possible for as long as possible.”
Subway said that all of the franchise owners have been authorised to close their stores, but some will be continuing to serve the “nation’s frontline workers in their amazing efforts, but donating food responsibly, over the next few days”.
The announcement ended by saying: “We’ll be back with you as soon as we can.”
Prezzo announced on March 19 that their restaurants would be temporarily closing due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The announcement said: “Today (March 19) we will temporarily close our Prezzo restaurants during this COVID-19 health crisis. We need to do this in order to protect the health of our teams, our customers and our local communities.”
The statement from Prezzo explained that they would be working “in their usual committed fashion to temporarily close [their] restaurants down in an orderly and planned manner”.
Slug and Lettuce
On the Slug and Lettuce website, the company posted a letter to their customers, saying: “Dear customer, following the Government's instruction, we are now closed until further notice.
“We would like to thank our customers for supporting us through this difficult time and look forward to welcoming you all back when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.”
The announcement said that for anyone with queries, they can get in touch via c[email protected], or alternatively phone 0330 094 9251.
If your query involves a booking question, you should instead email [email protected]
Chains only available for delivery
While some chains are closing their stores entirely, some have only implemented a partial shut down, such as closing their dine-in areas but remaining open for takeaway and delivery.
These are the restaurants that are operating in such a way:
- Pizza Hut: all of the sit down dining areas of the pizza chain have been closed, but is still available for takeaway collection and delivery- Burger King: many of the drive thru locations are open for takeaway, as well as remaining available for delivery- Bella Italia: most of their restaurants have closed, but some remain open for delivery and takeaway- Chiquito: their dine-in areas have been closed temporarily, but are still available for collection and delivery- KFC: seating areas closed, but available via drive-thru, takeaway and home delivery
Coronavirus: the facts
What is coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.
What caused coronavirus?
The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.
How is it spread?
As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But, similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore, covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.
What are the symptoms?
The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.
What precautions can be taken?
Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.
As of Monday 16 March the government advised that everyone should be observing social distancing - avoiding unnecessary travel and working from home where possible. Anyone with a cough or cold symptoms now needs to self-isolate with their entire household for 14 days.
The government has now instructed bars, restaurants and theatres to close and will review on a ‘month to month’ basis. Schools closed from Friday 20 March for the foreseeable future, and exams have been cancelled.
The over 70s or anyone who is vulnerable or living with an underlying illness are being asked to be extra careful and stay at home to self-isolate. People with serious underlying health conditions will be contacted and strongly advised to undertake "shielding" for 12 weeks.
For more information on government advice, please check their website.
Should I avoid public places?
The advice now is to avoid public places and any non-essential travel. Travel abroad is also being advised against for the next 30 days at least, and many European countries have closed their borders.
What should I do if I feel unwell?
Don’t go to your GP but instead call NHS 111 or look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.
When to call NHS 111
NHS 111 should be used if you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms, have been in a country with a high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days or if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus.