McDonald's, Starbucks close stores in Hubei province as China fights coronavirus outbreak

While McDonald's has closed its restaurants in five cities in Hubei province, Starbucks has closed its cafes and has also suspended deliveries

McDonald's on Saturday said that it is temporarily closing all shops across China's Hubei province, while Starbucks has closed all its outlets and suspended deliveries, owing to the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The decision comes as a preventive measure from the rapidly spreading lung virus, which has already claimed 41 lives as of Saturday.

Moreover, the news comes on a day when China marked its Lunar New Year. The Chinese New Year has been a quiet affair this time around, with almost no celebrations taking place owning to the outbreak of the virus. The shops are likely to remain closed over the next few days as China takes unprecedented steps to check the outbreak of the lung virus.

A preventive measure

McDonald's Logo Reuters

McDonald's in a statement said that it has temporarily closed all its restaurants in the cities of Wuhan, Ezhou, Huanggang, Qianjiang and Xiantao from Saturday. Although the Chicago-based food chain didn't specify the total number of restaurants it has closed down temporarily in Hubei province. Most of the locations are connected with the places where public transport has been suspended by China.

Starbucks, on the other hand, said that has not only closed all its cafes in Hubei province but also has suspended deliveries. The coffee giant said that the decision has been taken on "health concerns". Hubei has a population of approximately 60 million and an increasing number of cases of coronavirus victims are being reported every day.

McDonald's, Starbucks trying their best

Starbuck Coffee Potter Building New York Pixabay/Christian Hardi

Both McDonald's and Starbucks are trying their best and working with local authorities to ensure the well-being of both customers and employees. Starbucks has 4,125 cafes across China, while McDonald's owned 3,000 restaurants at the end of 2018.

McDonald's said that its other restaurants in China are operating normally. However, the company is making all efforts to ensure the safety of its workers and customers across all its restaurants in the country. So much so, that it is also checking the temperature of its employees on arrival to work and giving out sanitizers to customers who are coming to dine at all McDonald's restaurants.

Starbucks and McDonald's aren't the only ones who have closes their restaurants and cafes in Wuhan. Businesses are getting severely affected in China with travellers cancelling their trips. Also, hotel operators like Hyatt and InterContinental Hotels are offering customers options to cancel booking. On Friday, Walt Disney Company also announced that it is temporarily closing its theme park in Shanghai.