Costa has announced it is to close all UK branches this evening.
The UK's most popular coffee chain has announced it is to close all UK branches this evening for the foreseeable future.
In a statement across social media platforms this morning, Costa confirmed that due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it would be closing each of its over 2,300 UK branches at the end of trading on Monday 23rd March.
Following the government announcement that all cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs and other leisure facilities would be required to close on the evening of Friday 20th March, Costa had remained open and continued to trade via a offered a takeaway-only service.
In an official statement, Costa said: "At Costa Coffee our number one priority is the safety of our store teams and customers".
"As the need to support social distancing increases, we have taken the decision to temporarily close our stores from this evening, Monday 23 March."
"We will do our best to keep Costa stores open in hospitals where we will continue to provide free takeaway coffee for the next two weeks to the NHS workers who are at the forefront of this crisis".
The chain has still vowed to keep 'Costa Express' machines running throughout, confirming that: "Wherever possible, we will also keep our Costa Express machines available to serve you a great cup of coffee".
See you all soon... With you ☕❤️ pic.twitter.com/Ir0kALpAH3— Costa Coffee (@CostaCoffee) March 23, 2020
Costa is the latest coffee chain to announce closure of all UK branches, following competitor Starbucks' announcement toward the end of last week and it is a move we are likely to see repeated in companies across various sectors throughout this week.
COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday evening, with matters developing hourly across the world.