McDonald’s halts US reopening plans amid coronavirus surge

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McDonald’s has halted plans to reopen its dining rooms amid a surge in coronavirus infections.

The fast-food giant will not resume dine-in service at any more US restaurants for three weeks as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb, the company said in a Wednesday letter.

“This surge shows nobody is exempt from this virus — even places that previously had very few cases,” McDonald’s US President Joe Erlinger and Mark Salebra, chair of the National Franchisee Leadership Alliance, wrote in the letter, according to CNBC.

“Moving forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust as needed to protect the safety of our employees and customers.”

Roughly 2,200 of McDonald’s 14,000 US locations have already reopened their dining rooms, and dine-in service can continue in places that allow it, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the plans.

The move came as several states ordered restaurants and bars to close or scale back service as they grappled with the jump in infections. The US on Wednesday recorded more than 50,000 COVID-19 cases for the first time since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

McDonald’s global comparable sales plunged nearly 30 percent year-over-year in April and May as the vast majority of its restaurants were limited to carry-out, drive-through and delivery service, the company said in a June 16 regulatory filing.

The Chicago-based chain announced plans last month to hire roughly 260,000 restaurant employees this summer as the US began to emerge from its economic lockdown. It’s uncertain how the pause on reopening dining rooms will affect those plans.

With Post Wires

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