McDonald’s, Starbucks Close Some China Stores on Virus
Pedestrians and shoppers walk past a McDonald’s Corp. restaurant in Shanghai, China, (Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg  )

McDonald’s, Starbucks Close Some China Stores on Virus

(Bloomberg) -- McDonald’s Corp. has temporarily closed locations across five cities of China’s Hubei province while Starbucks Corp. also shut some cafes in the country, due to a rapidly spreading lung virus.

All of McDonald’s restaurants in the cities of Wuhan, Ezhou, Huanggang, Qianjiang and Xiantao closed as of Jan. 24, the Chicago-based company said in a statement. The locations correspond with areas where public transportation has been suspended. The company didn’t specify the number of locations that have been closed. McDonald’s had about 3,000 stores in China at the end of 2018.

Starbucks Corp. on Friday said it had also closed some locations in China due to the spread of coronavirus and that it was working with local health authorities to ensure the wellbeing of its employees and customers. The Seattle-based chain has about 4,125 cafes there.

Businesses are responding as China takes unprecedented steps to contain the outbreak of the virus, including travel restrictions for 40 million people on the eve of the Lunar New Year -- one of the busiest travel times. The coronavirus has been reported in 32 of 34 provinces and a second U.S. case was confirmed on Friday. French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn has declared two confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country.

Read more: Tracking the Virus Outbreak’s Impact on Business and Travel

McDonald’s said that in the rest of the company’s restaurants in China that are operating normally, the company is taking extra preventative measures. These include taking the temperature of workers upon arrival and giving out hand sanitizer to diners. Starbucks said it continues to monitor the situation closely and will take further actions if it evolves.

The impact on the economy is still uncertain, with executives at the world’s biggest companies saying they’re waiting for more information to emerge on the scope of the outbreak.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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