Britain’s high streets shut down: Restaurants and cafes including McDonald’s, Nandos and Costa to close today – even for takeaways – following similar decisions by Primark and H&M
- Shops and coffee chains up and down the country will close their doors today
- Costa had moved to seat-less chains but will now close its stores in the UK
- High Street retailers will also shut today amid the spread of the coronavirus
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Costa Coffee and McDonald’s have closed their doors this morning amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Both chains said they would be temporarily shutting stores in the UK, as retailers all over the country begin to deal with the fall out from the illness that has so far killed 281 people, with over 5,683 cases having been confirmed.
It comes after coffee chains such as Pret A Manger and Starbucks announced yesterday that they would be closing.
Costa had yesterday announced that it would remove seating areas from its stores, as well as implementing card payments only.
In a statement Costa said it would continue to serve the community and would provide key workers with cans of coffee.
Nando’s restaurants will also close today -as Primark and Timpsons announced similar measures in the battle against coronavirus.
McDonald’s previously shut down the seating areas of its restaurants, but has now confirmed in a statement that all its eateries will close at 7pm on Monday.
A shorter version of the statement posted on the McDonald’s Twitter account last night
Primark has closed its 189 UK stores due to the ongoing panic around the coronavirus pandemic
Timpson Group will close all 2,150 of its UK stores from close of business today
The shops closing due to the coronavirus pandemic
Pret A Manger
Paul Pomroy, Chief Executive Officer of McDonald’s in the UK & Ireland 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 at the latest.’
The decision comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for pubs, clubs and restaurants to shut on Friday, although he stressed they could continue with a takeaway service.
Nando’s followed suit and said it will temporarily close all its restaurants in the UK today ‘until further notice’.
The chain has more than 400 restaurants in the country and said the decision was ‘the best course of action’.
In a post on Twitter, the company said: ‘The health and safety of our customers and team is our highest priority.
‘We have decided that the best course of action right now is to temporarily close our restaurants until further notice.
‘We will keep you updated on our channels. We’ll see you soon.’
It came after Primark announced it would close all 189 outlets in the UK and Patisserie Valerie will shut all its stores and online services today.
Associated British Foods, which owns Primark, has already shut its 187 other venues across Europe and North America this week.
It has also cancelled all new clothing orders from suppliers in countries including India, but will honour all orders already shipped to Primark stores.
On Sunday Timpson announced that all 2,150 of its stores – including its cobblers and locksmiths, and Johnsons – will ‘go into hibernation’ at 5pm tomorrow.
CEO James Timpson confirmed that staff will remain on full pay.
Patisserie Valerie chief executive James Fleming said that as of today they would be temporarily closing stores and online services.
Pret A Manger chose to close all 400 of its UK stores, following a similar decision by coffee chain Starbucks, which has around 1,000 UK outlets.
And high street giant John Lewis decided to close all 50 of its stores from close of business tonight for the first time in its 155-year history.
Timpson was founded in 1865 by shoemaker William Timpson and his brother-in-law Walter Joyce, who sold shoes from Oldham Road in Manchester.
It expanded into shoe manufacturing in 1884 at factories in Kettering, and repairs in 1903. The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1929.
Timpson boasted around £10million turnover in the 1950s, and was bought out by several large companies in the proceeding decades.
John Lewis has said it will close all 55 of its UK stores for the first time in its 155-year history
Pret A Manger closed all 400 of its UK stores in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic
A message from Pret CEO, Pano Christou, said how much he thanked his ‘amazing teams’
Waterstones has also announced that it will temporarily close its doors by the close of trade Monday 23 March until further notice
It comes after coffee chain Starbucks, which has around 1,000 outlets in Britain, announced yesterday that it too has temporarily closed its doors
The drastic measures come despite the stores technically being allowed to remain open and sell takeaways under Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 lockdown plans
Emirates Airlines has announced it will suspend all passenger flights amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The Dubai carrier today said it had made the decision amid an ‘unprecedented crisis situation.’
The airline will temporarily suspend all passenger flights by 25 March.
The airline wrote on Twitter: ‘Today we made the decision to temporarily suspend all passenger flights by 25 March 2020.’
Emirates Airlines has announced it will suspend all passenger flights amid the novel coronavirus outbreak
CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said: ‘The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
‘This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale: geographically, as well as from a health, social, and economic standpoint.’
On Friday, the United Arab Emirates announced the first two deaths from COVID-19 in the country.
CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said: ‘The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak’
It yet another staple of the British high street that has collaborated in the general panic after the Government encouraged public social centres to close.
HMV also said it would be temporarily closing its stores for trade from the end of Sunday, although its online business would continue.
Waterstones has also announced that it will temporarily close its doors by the close of trade today until further notice.
Pano Christou, CEO of the food chain Pret, said in a statement posted on social media: ‘I want to thank our amazing teams for serving you with so much passion and kindness over the recent weeks, including more than 100,000 NHS workers.
‘Pret’s first value is Happy Teams, Happy Customers and my priority is always to protect our teams as much as we can.
‘For this reason, we will be closing all our UK shops temporarily from this evening.
‘We will of course ensure any excess food goes to those who need it most.
‘We look forward to being a part of your daily lives again soon.
‘Until then, stay healthy and look after each other.’
John Lewis Partnership chairman Sharon White declared: ‘The welfare of our customers, communities and partners is always our absolute priority’.
The group-owned supermarket Waitrose, which has more than 300 stores across the country, will remain open, she added.
Ms White said the move was done ‘with a heavy heart’ even though the department store’s website would remain operational.
Topshop employees were laid off after the Arcadia Group closed its 300 UK stores an hour before the Government announced its coronavirus job retention plan.
The group owned by billionaire Philip Green said in an emailed statement: ‘In line with many other retailers, the Group has made the difficult decision to close until further notice all of our stores from 4pm this afternoon.’
This includes Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, and Wallis.
All these closures follow Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s double-pledge to provide £350billion of Government-backed loans and cash grants to business, and pay 80 percent of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 per month – the national average.
Topshop employees today said they have been laid off after the Arcadia Group closed its 300 UK stores an hour before the government announced its coronavirus job retention plan
What is still open FOR NOW (places you can visit but can’t mingle)
- Shops (clothes, goods)
- Dry cleaners
- Department stores
- Hairdressers and barbers
- Post offices
Mr Sunak also vowed to increase welfare payments by £7billion and defer £30billion of VAT bills. His scheme will be up and running from April 1.
Although these stores are technically allowed to remain open under Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 lockdown plan, many have been spooked into closure.
Scientists and medics say the vast majority of those killed by Covid-19, the illness created by the Wuhan virus, are elderly with ‘underlying conditions’.
Those ‘conditions’ include cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer sufferers.
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