Mon, 23 Mar 2020
Newbury loves McDonald's it seems.
This was the queue for the McDonald's restaurant at Newbury Retail Park this lunchtime after the chain announced it would be closing its UK restaurants tonight in an effort to encourage social distancing.
Reports on social media said that the queue for the retail park branch stretched down the A339 this afternoon.
McDonald's across the UK will close by 7pm tonight.
Among the branches affected by the move are outlets in Northbrook Street, Newbury Retail Park, Tot Hill Services and Calcot.
Chief executive officer, McDonald’s UK & Ireland, 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 and therefore we have taken the decision to close every restaurant in the UK and Ireland by 7pm on Monday 23rd March.
"We have not taken this decision lightly and know that our restaurants have been playing an important role in the community providing hundreds of thousands of free drinks to frontline health and social workers and emergency services personnel.
"But I have been clear throughout this that we would only continue to operate whilst it was safe for our people and together with our franchisees, we feel now is the time to make this decision to temporarily close".
Mr Pomroy said McDonald's would work with community groups to distribute food to those most in need, and would ensure frontline health workers and emergency services personnel did not have to pay for any food or drink in its restaurants on sight of their work pass.