Pret A Manger will temporarily close all 400 of its UK stores from tonight in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
It comes after coffee chain Starbucks, which has around 1,000 outlets in Britain, announced yesterday that it too has closed its doors for the time being.
The drastic measures come despite the stores technically being allowed to remain open and sell takeaways under Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 lockdown plans.
Meanwhile, Costa Coffee and Caffe Nero today stated they will become takeaway only for now.
The news comes as the death toll from the killer virus in the UK has hit 233 after a further 53 people died in England alone.
Pret A Manger will close all 400 of its UK stores from tonight in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic
A message posted on social media today by Pret CEO, Pano Christou, in which he thanked his ‘amazing teams’
It comes after coffee chain Starbucks, which has around 1,000 outlets in Britain, announced yesterday that it too has temporarily closed its doors
The drastic measures come despite the stores technically being allowed to remain open and sell takeaways under Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 lockdown plans
Pano Christou, CEO of the food chain Pret, said in a statement posted on social media: ‘I want to thank our amazing teams for serving you with so much passion and kindness over the recent weeks, including more than 100,000 NHS workers.
‘Pret’s first value is Happy Teams, Happy Customers and my priority is always to protect our teams as much as we can.
‘For this reason, we will be closing all our UK shops temporarily from this evening.
A sign posted in a Costa Coffee shop at London’s Paddington station yesterday
Costa Coffee will become takeaway-only for now, and have a more limited food range during the coronavirus lockdown
Caffe Nero has also announced changes to the way it will operate for the moment
A post on social media from the coffee chain added, ‘You can still come and grab your coffee, we are here for you’
‘We will of course ensure any excess food goes to those who need it most.
‘We look forward to being a part of your daily lives again soon.
‘Until then, stay healthy and look after each other.’
Other stores affected by the coronavirus include John Lewis and Topshop.
John Lewis, one of the biggest names on the British high street, is to temporarily close its 50 UK department stores, it said Saturday.
What is still open (places you can visit but can’t mingle)
- Shops (clothes, goods)
- Dry cleaners
- Department stores
- Hairdressers and barbers
- Post offices
The employee-owned retailer will shut the stores on Monday for the forseeable future, the company said in a statement.
‘The welfare of our customers, communities and partners is always our absolute priority,’ said John Lewis chairman Sharon White.
The group-owned supermarket Waitrose, which has more than 300 stores across the country, will remain open, she added.
White said the move was done ‘with a heavy heart’ even though the department store’s website would remain operational.
The move comes after Boris Johnson said on Friday that cafes, restaurants and pubs had to close to slow the spread of the virus.
Earlier this month, John Lewis cut its annual staff bonus to its lowest level in more than 50 years owing to a drop in profits.
Topshop employees today said they have been laid off after the Arcadia Group closed its 300 UK stores an hour before the government announced its coronavirus job retention plan.
The group owned by billionaire Sir Philip Green said in an emailed statement: ‘In line with many other retailers, the Group has made the difficult decision to close until further notice all of our stores from 4pm this afternoon.’
Topshop employees today said they have been laid off after the Arcadia Group closed its 300 UK stores an hour before the government announced its coronavirus job retention plan
This includes the chains Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge and Wallis.
The statement added: ‘All store staff remain employees during this time and will be paid their normal pay for March plus any outstanding overtime payments, after which we will review this situation and will be keeping our store teams updated.’
It come after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a colossal relief package for employers, saying the government would cover 80 per cent of wages for staff being paid up to £2,500 a month.
Wake up and smell the coffee! Customers hug as they meet and sit outside celebrity hangout Daylesford Cafe in London’s exclusive Westbourne Grove despite PM’s coronavirus ban
By RYAN FAHEY for MailOnline
Customers hugged each other as they met and sat outside a West London celebrity hangout cafe today despite Boris Johnson’s coronavirus ban.
Daylesford cafe, a celebrity hangout in Notting Hill, has been photographed with people sitting outside on chairs, eating and drinking, almost a day after Johnson ordered all pubs, bars, restaurants in the UK to shut down in the hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
When asked why people were sitting outside at Westbourne Grove, an employee at Daylesford’s Pimlico branch told the MailOnline: ‘I don’t know why they’re doing this.
People can be seen sitting at Daylesford cafe, a celebrity hangout in Notting Hill, West London, today as the venue defies Boris Johnson’s order to close down to stop the coronavirus spread
A popular cafe with celebrities, Daylesford in Westbourne Grove defies Boris Johnson’s orders to close and to have no seating today
‘An email was sent round to all stores yesterday telling us to follow the government’s advice and to remove all seating from outside the store.
‘And, not to encourage eating on the premises. I don’t know why they’re not following what’s been advised,’ he added.
As a farm shop and a cafe, Daylesford premises are allowed to remain open for shoppers looking to buy food to take home.
However, their restaurant facilities should not be up and running, the employee said.
Yesterday, police announced they would be on the alert to close any pubs or bars that refuse to comply with the government’s shutdown of social venues.
Police forces were mobilised to enforce the shutdown, with chief constables engaging civil contingencies designed to respond to events such as rioting and terrorism, allowing longer shifts and making more officers available.
Above, the popular cafe today. Meanwhile,former health secretary Jeremy Hunt this morning welcomed the government’s shutdown of pubs and restaurants, although he suggested the measures should have been enforced sooner
Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, officers have been granted the power to revoke operating licences for several different types of venues if they are deemed to be playing a role in disorder.
It comes after drinkers across the country enjoyed a final pint and panic-bought alcohol from supermarkets yesterday following Boris Johnson’s order for all pubs, clubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and sports centres to close ‘as soon as they reasonably can and not to reopen tomorrow’.
Ken Marsh, head of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said: ‘It’s very simple. Under licensing laws we can revoke their licences, and then they are breaking the law.’
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt this morning welcomed the government’s shutdown of pubs and restaurants, although he suggested the measures should have been enforced sooner.
But thousands of Friday night revellers ignored the government’s advice on social distancing as they danced the night away despite the coronavirus death toll rising by 40 on Friday to 177, with almost 4,000 infected, although the real figure is believed to be greater than 10,000.
The Metropolitan Police and Daylesford Cafe have been contacted by MailOnline for comment.