McDonald’s to temporarily close U.K., Ireland restaurants as coronavirus spreads

McDonald’s, the world’s most popular restaurant, is taking the unprecedented step of temporarily closing all of its restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland as the coronavirus continues to spread.

The restaurants will be closed starting at 7 p.m. Monday, company officials said.

“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 our customers,” officials said on social media.

There are 1,270 restaurants in the U.K. that employ 135,000 people, the BBC reported.

There are 5,736 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK and 906 in Ireland, according to the Johns Hopkins world map.

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