In this file:
· Coronavirus UK: Boris Johnson announces closure of all UK pubs and restaurants
· McDonald’s to close restaurants in UK and Ireland on Monday
Coronavirus UK: Boris Johnson announces closure of all UK pubs and restaurants
Cafes, gyms and leisure centres also told to shut because of Covid-19 as unprecedented wage-support scheme unveiled
Heather Stewart and Peter Walker, The Guardian (UK)
Boris Johnson took the extraordinary step of ordering pubs, clubs and restaurants across the UK to close on Friday, and announced an unprecedented wage-support scheme to try to prevent a tsunami of job losses.
Announcing the decision in the fight against the coronavirus, the prime minister said that he realised it went against what he called “the inalienable free-born right of people born in England to go to the pub”.
The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, revealed that the taxpayer would meet 80% of the wage costs of workers “furloughed”, or temporarily sent home, by firms hit by the crisis.
Johnson had come under increasing pressure to take more stringent action as social distancing measures announced on Monday – including the recommendation to avoid all unnecessary social contact – were being flouted.
The decision to order the nationwide shutdown was only finally decided at an afternoon meeting of Cobra, the government’s crisis committee, which ended shortly before the prime minister made his dramatic announcement.
One issue thrashed out at the meeting was when it should come into place, with several voices – including that of the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, and others – urging that it should come in on Friday evening and not the following day.
Earlier on Friday, the government had decided that venues in London should be ordered to close. By early afternoon, emerging scientific evidence made crisis planners believe it had to be a nationwide shutdown.
Johnson said that with the agreement of the three devolved governments, “we are telling – telling – cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight, as soon as they reasonably can, and not open tomorrow”. They would be allowed to sell takeaway food and drink, he added.
The same instruction was being given to...
McDonald’s to close restaurants in UK and Ireland on Monday
Fellow fast-food chain Nando’s is also closing more 400 outlets across Great Britain
via The Guardian (UK) - 22 Mar 2020
All McDonald’s restaurants in the UK and the Republic of Ireland will close by 7pm on Monday to protect the safety of employees and customers, the company said.
The announcement followed news from other retailers including Waterstones, Primark and Patisserie Valerie that they would also close. Later on Sunday Nando’s announced its outlets would also close.
The fast-food company said it had taken the “difficult decision” in a statement posted to Twitter – adding that stores will close by that time on Monday “at the latest”.
The decision comes after Boris Johnson called for pubs, clubs and restaurants to shut on Friday.
The company had already removed all its seating areas but was continuing to serve takeaway food.
In a statement on Sunday night, UK and Ireland CEO 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.
“This is not a decision we are taking lightly, but one made with the wellbeing and safety of our employees in mind as well as in the best interests of our customers.
“We will work with local community groups to responsibly distribute food and drink from our restaurants in the coming days.
“Thank you to our brilliant employees for their hard work during this incredibly challenging time.
“We look forward to seeing you all again as soon as it is safe for us to reopen.”
Nando’s has also said it will...