How long can Macca’s stay open for?
All 1350 McDonald's restaurants in the UK and Ireland have now shut as the coronavirus pandemic escalates - but what does the crisis mean for Aussie burger lovers?
"This is not a decision we are taking lightly but one made with the wellbeing and safety of our employees in mind as well as in the best interests of our customers," the UK branch of the fast-food juggernaut said in a statement regarding its sudden closures.
"We will work with local community groups to responsibly distribute food and drink from our restaurants in the coming days."
That announcement came as a result of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's tough new social distancing measures, with Australia also adopting a similar approach.
On Sunday night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that all Australian restaurants and cafes would be restricted to takeaway only as of noon yesterday as part of a "phase one" plan to halt the spread of COVID-19.
The decision was made following a cabinet meeting, which also decided to indefinitely close all registered and licensed clubs, entertainment venues such as cinemas, casinos and nightclubs, indoor sporting venues and gyms and places of worship.
Funerals and "things of that nature" must now observe the strict four square metre rule - which will be enforced - although for now, at least, schools, shopping centres and most retailers and home delivery services are still allowed to operate as normal.
McDonald's was just one of countless eateries across the country to make drastic changes to their daily operations as a result.
"At Macca's, looking after you, our team and the wider community is our priority, so in line with Government guidance, we're making a few changes," McDonald's said in a Facebook post yesterday.
"For the time being, you won't be able to dine-in, but we'll be here for you to walk in and takeaway, and via Drive-Thru and McDelivery."
And a McDonald's Australia spokeswoman confirmed you were still able to get your hands on a Big Mac for now.
"We continue to follow the directions of the Australian Government, and are open for takeaway, drive-through and delivery," the spokeswoman confirmed.
"So, that means people can still come in and order on kiosks, at the front counter or on our MyMaccas app and pick-up their food."
McDonald's is also shouting all healthcare workers a free drink with every transaction as a way of thanking them for all they are doing to support Australians through the pandemic.
As the strict new rules came into effect yesterday afternoon, news.com.au visited a McDonald's branch on George St in Sydney's CBD where compliance with the regulations was absolute.
Yellow and black tape had been draped over chairs and tables to deter customers from dining in and breaking the rules.
Originally published as How long can Macca's stay open for?