A SWATHE of fast food chains and restaurants are closing their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving thousands without work and putting pressure farmers.
Concerns over how to ensure people were social distancing, a key measure to reduce the death rate of the virus, have been central to the decisions taken by owners in recent days.
Multinational fast food chain McDonalds closed its doors yesterday at 7pm across Ireland and Britain. It has 95 outlets here.
CEO of McDonald's UK and Ireland, Paul Pomroy, said over the weekend it became clear "maintaining social distance whilst operating busy takeaway and Drive Thru restaurants is increasingly difficult".
He thanked their 130,000 employees as well as customers and couriers.
"Take care of one another in these unprecedented times, we look forward to seeing you again as soon as it is safe for us to reopen."
Sandwich shop Subway followed suit announcing it would close all its shops in the UK and Ireland at 5pm yesterday.
"We believe this is the best thing to help support social distancing and keep everyone as health as possible for as long as possible," it said.
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) called for market support measures.
“In these extraordinary times, it is absolutely vital that we do everything possible to keep cattle farmers in business. Cattle farmers are already extremely vulnerable, and we need to immediately re-set the intervention reference price to ensure price does not drop below current level," beef chairman Edmund Graham said.
Fast food chain Supermacs said it will close all of its restaurants by Thursday at 7pm.
The decision to delay the closure was to allow the emergency services using the outlets for food to make alternative arrangements.
However it was closing all of its seating areas last night.
Doughnut chain Krispy Kreme, which has an outlet in Blanchardstown, Dublin, announced it was closing, saying the safety and well-being of staff was its number one priority.
Among the other chains to announce closures in the UK and Ireland were Starbucks and Costa Coffee.