McDonald's exempt from 10pm curfew as drive-thru and delivery remain open

Drive-thru and delivery services at McDonald’s are exempt from the 10pm curfew as new restrictions hit the UK tonight.

A fresh coronavirus crackdown was unveiled on Tuesday, with pubs, bars and restaurants forced to close at 10pm from today as the country sees its third-largest jump in confirmed cases since the pandemic hit.

While the new restrictions will cause ‘chaos’ for much of the ‘battered’ hospitality industry, McDonald’s and other similar fast-food restaurants are able to continue operating overnight by using a loophole.

McDonald’s UK and Ireland CEO Paul Pomroy said on Wednesday the company ‘can continue to safely provide that overnight service’ through delivery or drive-thru services.

He said: ‘With thanks to our delivery partners Uber Eats and Just Eat, more than 800 restaurants will also be offering McDelivery past 10pm.’

The announcement follows Government rules that state: ‘Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises, can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service or drive-thru.’

McDonald’s and others must still abide by any local lockdown restrictions brought in. There are ‘local exceptions to the above, including additional restrictions in some areas’ that will play a role in which branches can remain open and at what times, Mr Pomroy said.

He added: ‘We will be guided by local and national government regulations.’

It comes as a new report claims up to 540,000 hospitality workers could lose their jobs as the industry ‘teeters on the edge’ amid the fresh clampdown.

One in four hospitality business owners believe they could fail by the end of the year, surveys from The British Beer & Pub Association, UKHospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping show.

Rishi Sunak is set to outline his plan to avoid mass unemployment later today after cancelling this year’s budget as fears of second wave mount.

The Chancellor is believed to be considering introducing a German-style scheme as part of a wider emergency support programme.

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