There were large queues for McDonald’s in Cork tonight before it closed at 7pm tonight in response to the Covid 19 pandemic.
Cars and people were queued up in front of the compound tonight and on the streets that led to the passage.
McDonald’s said it made the “difficult decision” to close all restaurants in Ireland and the UK at 7pm today.
“This is not a decision that we make lightly, but is made with the wellbeing and safety of our employees and in the best interest of our customers,” said McDonald’s.
“We will be working with local community groups in the coming days to responsibly distribute food and drinks from our restaurants.”
Paul Pomroy, general manager of McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said: “In the past 24 hours, it has become clear that maintaining safe social distance is becoming increasingly difficult while busy takeaways and drive-thru restaurants are operating.”
He added: “We did not take this decision lightly, and we know that our restaurants have played an important role in the community and offer hundreds of thousands of free drinks to health and social workers and frontline rescuers.
“However, I was clear that we would only continue working if this was safe for our employees. Together with our franchisees, it is now time to make this decision to close temporarily.
“We will work closely with community groups across the UK and Ireland to distribute food from our restaurants to the most needy, and ensure that front line health workers and emergency services staff in our restaurants do not have to pay for food or drink of their work.
“I would like to thank each of our 135,000 employees. I am so proud of all of them that they have adapted so quickly to a constantly evolving work environment, taken every step to protect our customers, couriers and teams and take good care of each other. “