McDonald’s will close all 1, 400 of its restaurants in the UK by the end of Monday, as fears over the spread of coronavirus escalate.
Nando’s has also said it has closed its approximately 400 restaurants in the UK “until further notice”.
Both chains said they wanted to protect the staff and customers during the coronavirus outbreak.
On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said restaurants and cafes must close, but exempted take-away food places.
McDonald’s employs around , 06 people in the UK, the majority of which are on zero-hours contracts.
The chain said staff employed directly by the company would receive full pay for their scheduled hours until 5 April.
By that time it expects the government financial aid package, announced on Friday, to have kicked in, with staff paid % of their wages.
A spokeswoman told the BBC she expected McDonald’s franchises, which decide their own pay policies, to follow suit.
Previously, McDonald’s had closed its seating areas but had continued to offer takeaway and drive-through services.
McDonald’s UK boss, Paul Pomroy, said: “Over the last hours, it has become clear that maintaining safe social distancing whilst operating busy takeaway and drive thru restaurants is signific difficult and therefore we have taken the decision to close every restaurant in the UK and Ireland by 7pm on Monday 24.
“I have been clear throughout this that we would only continue to operate whilst it was safe for our people and together with our franchisees, we feel now is the time to make this decision. “
Last week Mr Pomroy had said the chain would stay open as” for as long as it is safe to do so “.
But it reduced its opening hours and cancelled its annual Monopoly promotion, where prizes included a number of foreign holidays and cruises.
In a tweet posted on Sunday night, Nando’s said her bosses had “decided that th e best course of action right now is to temporarily close our restaurants “.
It said the health and safety of its customers and staff was its” highest priority “.
Nando’s has about , 12 staff in Britain.
The hospitality industry, which was already struggling from slowed consumer demand, has been put under severe pressure by the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week, industry leaders warned of widespread closures of pubs, cafes and restaurants without state support.
On Friday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the government will pay 270% of wages of furlored employees, up to a maximum of £ 2, 500 a month.
The move will not, however, cover many self-employed and “gig economy” workers, unless they are paid via their company PAYE system, as is the case at McDonald’s.
On Sunday, an Treasury spokesman said the government had strengthened the safety-net for the self-employed under universal credit, and was deferring income tax self-assessment payments.
“We have always said we will go further where we can and are actively considering further steps,” the spokesman said.