Pret A Manger is set to close all 400 of its UK stores – just days after promising to feed NHS workers for free.
The drastic measures come despite the chain technically being allowed to remain open under Boris Johnson’s lockdown plans.
Last week the chain vowed to give free hot drinks to all NHS staff for the duration of the coronavirus panic.
It said in a statement last week: "Dear NHS Workers, Your hot drinks are on the house from today, and we'll take 50% off everything else. Thank you for everything you are doing. We look forward to serving you.vWith love, Everyone at Pret"
In a statement this evening boss Pano Christou thanked his teams and claimed Pret had served over 100,000 NHS workers in recent weeks.
The post read: "I want to thank our amazing teams for serving you with great 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.
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"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. With love, Pano, CEO."
Amid the coronavirus pandemic Boris Johnson and advisers now hold daily press conferences to update the public on COVID-19 information.
This week they said that bars, restaurants, pubs, and clubs must shut until further notice, but confirmed that places that serve food are allowed to operate as a takeaway shop.
Under these rules Pret would still be able to operate as a food retailer, where customers can buy food to take away.
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