McDonald’s is planning to reopen some of its restaurants in the UK for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown was introduced in March, the fast food chain has announced.
From 13 May, customers will be able to order a delivery from 15 restaurants across the country – the locations of which will be revealed by the company next week.
A limited menu will be in place and breakfast options will not be available for the time being to allow for smaller teams to follow social distancing guidelines in the kitchens.
In a statement, McDonald’s chief executive for the UK and Ireland Paul Pomroy said “controlled tests” had been carried out in the past week to ensure the restaurants could open safely amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He said perspex screens and floor markings had been introduced in specific areas of the restaurants, while protective equipment, including non-medical grade face masks, would be given to employees.
Each employee will also be asked if they are fit to work and will have their temperatures taken before starting each shift.
Social distancing measures will also be employed on both McDonald’s staff and the company’s delivery partners, Mr Pomroy said.
To maintain high standards of cleanliness, Mr Pomroy added that all staff would be provided with updated training, and the restaurants would undergo a deep clean before reopening.
News of the reopening comes a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK had passed the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic, and promised to lay out his details for an exit strategy from the lockdown next week.
The reopening of the fast food chain would be a “gradual” move, Mr Pomroy said, adding that he could acknowledge it would “be different as we all adjust to this new normal”.
He added: “Rest assured we are working hard to reopen more restaurants, but I am adamant this must be at the right pace with the wellbeing of our employees, suppliers and customers front of mind.”
The news comes after Greggs postponed its reopening plans, scheduled for May 4th, over fears that demand would be so strong that social distancing would not be possible.