According to franchisees, owing of the spread of the Delta version of COVID-19, several U.S. fast-food outlets are eliminating indoor dining areas or reducing hours of operation. In early 2020, McDonald’s Corp briefly stopped indoor dining at virtually all of its U.S. facilities, but it had reopened 70% of them by last month. On July 28, the worldwide burger giant announced that it was on track to open nearly all of its locations by Labor Day, barring a COVID-19 comeback.
According to internal corporate documents reviewed by Reuters, McDonald’s directed its franchisees last week on how to re-close their dining rooms in places where the Delta variation is rapidly spreading. McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger said, “We have a much deeper sense of what actions make a difference for the safety of our restaurant teams and crew.”
McDonald’s executives suggested limiting indoor sitting in counties where COVID instances reach 250 per 100,000 people on a rolling three-week average during a conference call on Wednesday. The materials did not say how many restaurants have or will shortly close their indoor seats. According to Reuters, a McDonald’s franchisee with several locations said he had to ban indoor seating at several of his locations.
However, the number of expected closures is expected to be lower than the number that closed in the spring of 2020, when the pandemic first struck the United States. On Friday, top US health experts indicated that coronavirus infections in the United States are continuing to climb because to the fast-spreading Delta type. They also claimed that vaccination rates were greater. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday that nationwide, deaths and cases were up 11% and 3% in the last seven days, respectively, with hospitalizations up 6% in the last week to an eight-month high.