American fast-food chain McDonald’s announced late on Sunday that it was closing all its restaurants in the U.K. and Ireland by Monday evening as part of its measures to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus.

The company said it took the decision to shut its venues by 07.00 p.m. local time (1900GMT) for the “safety” of its employees and “best interests” of the customers.

“Ahead of closing, all frontline health workers and emergency services personnel will get food and drink for free on sight of an ID,” the statement added.

The U.K. Department of Health announced on

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