Mon, 23 Mar 2020
McDonald's is closing its UK restaurants in an effort to encourage social distancing.
Among the branches affected by the move are outlets in central Newbury, Newbury Retail Park, Tot Hill Services and Calcot.
They will all be shut by 7pm tonight.
It is unclear when they will reopen, although the company insists it will work with community food relief schemes through the coronavirus pandemic.
McDonald's had intended to maintain its takeaway and drive-thru services, and its restaurants had been providing free drinks to frontline workers.
But it has become apparent over the past few days that this approach was undermining official advice for people to stay at home.
Subway has also announced that it has authorised its franchise owners to close all their stores in the UK and Ireland, from 5pm today, Monday, March 23.
Country director, UK and Ireland, Colin Hughes, said: "We took this decision as we want to continue doing everything in our power to keep people safe.
"We believe closing the stores is the right thing to do. By supporting social distancing, we can help protect not just our loyal guests, dedicated Franchise Owners and Sandwich Artists™, but the wider communities they serve.
"Locally, over today and tomorrow, Franchise Owners will be using up their fresh ingredients to donate Subs to local community groups and emergency workers, wherever possible".
McDonald's is just one of the companies taking such steps.
Debenhams is also closing all of its stores until further notice from 4pm today.
The fashion retailer has said that its home delivery services are running as usual and it has extended its returns policy to 60 days.
Nando's, Hobbycraft and Dunelm - all of which have local outlets - shut up shop nationwide today, emphasising the threat posed by COVID-19.