Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, McDonald's and Nando's are stopping their delivery services. It comes after both chains closed their restaurant seating areas last week (March 17). Per BBC News, this will lead to the closure of 1,270 of McDonald's restaurants, and 400 Nando's. Costa Coffee, Itsu, and Subway are also "planning to close their UK branches" today.
It follows the UK government's official guidelines, issued on March 20. which included the closure of all cafes, pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants, gyms, leisure centres, nightclubs, theatres, and cinemas, per the Guardian. London mayor Sadiq Khan supported Boris Johnson's decision, making clear that if the advice was ignored, "people will die as a result."
"I want to make a direct appeal to everyone — act immediately on the expert advice," Khan said (via the Telegraph). Both Nando's and McDonald's closures are for the benefit of public health and to prevent the virus from spreading.
"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 23 March," McDonald's boss Paul Pomroy said in a statement, via BBC News. "I have been clear throughout this that we would only continue to operate whilst it was safe for our people together and our franchisees, we feel now is the time to make this decision."
Staff employed directly by McDonald's will "receive full pay for their scheduled hours until 5 April", the BBC reports. The reason it ends at that date is because the government's financial aid package is expected to come into effect which will help businesses pay staff at "80 per cent of their wages."
As for Nando's, whose statement generally echoed similar sentiments, there's no word yet as to how staff will be paid. Bustle has reached out to the restaurant chain for comment, but has yet to hear back.
Those on zero-hour contracts should be entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP), if they earn "more than £118 a week after tax", per Metro. At the moment, SSP is currently £94.25 per week. Those not eligible for SSP, or those who have lost their jobs, can claim employment and support allowance (ESA) from the first day they are out of work rather than the eighth, which was previously the case."
"Zero hours covers a variety of situations," Chancellor Rishi Sunak said on March 20, "but it may well be you are on a PAYE scheme and have a set of regular earnings and it will be covered depending on your particular circumstances."
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, call NHS 111 in the UK or visit the CDC websitein the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all of Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.