A woman walks past a branch of US burger chain McDonald's in central London on September 4, 2017. (AFP/Tolga Akmen)
McDonald's Corp said on Sunday it would temporarily close all its restaurants in the UK and Ireland by Monday evening because of the coronavirus outbreak.
"We have taken the difficult decision to close all McDonald's restaurants in UK and Ireland by 7 p.m. on Monday 23rd March at the latest", the company said in a tweet.
An update from McDonald’s UK and Ireland — See you soon pic.twitter.com/43moFRrWRR— McDonald's UK (@McDonaldsUK) March 22, 2020
Restaurants have been forced to shut doors or limit service to delivery and takeaway in many parts of the world in efforts to curb the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.
In China, the epicenter of the virus, McDonald's has reopened 95 percent of its restaurants, Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said on Friday.
Separately, the fast-food chain has suspended share buybacks to help it navigate through the crisis, but has not changed its dividend policy.
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