McDonald’s will close all 1,270 of its restaurants in the UK by the end of Monday, as fears over the spread of Covid 19 escalate.
Previously, the fast food giant had closed its seating areas but had continued to offer takeaway and drive-through services.
McDonald’s said it wanted to protect the wellbeing of staff and customers.
On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said restaurants and cafes must close, but exempted take-away food places.
McDonald’s employs around 120,000 people in the UK, the majority of which are on zero-hours contracts.
The chain did not say whether its staff would continue to be paid.
On its UK Twitter account, McDonald’s said: “We have taken the difficult decision to close all McDonald’s restaurants in the UK and Ireland by 7pm on Monday 23rd March at the latest.
“This is not a decision taken lightly but one with the wellbeing and safety of our employees in mind as well as in the best interests of our customers.”