May 13, 2020 / 3:54 PM / 24 days ago

Return of Big Mac - McDonald's UK emerges from lockdown

Delivery men are seen outside a reopened McDonald's with take-out only deliveries in Dalston, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - After over seven weeks of coronavirus lockdown, Britons hankering for a Big Mac may be a step closer to getting their hands on one after McDonald’s (MCD.N) reopened 15 restaurants on Wednesday for delivery only.

The pilot restaurants, all in southeast England including Harrow, Dalston and Tooting in London, will offer a limited menu via Uber Eats.

Orders are capped at a maximum of 25 pounds ($31) as McDonald’s adjusts to smaller teams and social distancing regulations in its kitchens.

“We are asking all our employees to adapt to how our restaurants now work, and will only reopen at a pace that enables them to work safely,” said Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s CEO for the UK and Ireland.

From May 20, the group, which has more than 1,450 restaurants across the UK and Ireland and employs more than 135,000 people, will move to the next phase of its reopening plan, with a further 30 pilot restaurants in the UK and Ireland, offering service through the Drive-Thru lane.

It hopes to have all its Drive-Thrus open by early June.

Additional safety measures the group has implemented include the use of contactless thermometers, with employee temperatures checked on arrival at work, perspex screens in key locations in the kitchen and service areas and protective equipment, including gloves and face coverings.

Reporting by Natalie Thomas, writing by James Davey; editing by Stephen Addison

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