Starbucks has said it will offer free hot drinks to all NHS, council and paramedic workers as the country continues to battle the ongoing coronavirus.
It follows Pret and McDonald's – both of whom are now offering complimentary drinks in a show of appreciation for staff.
"In support of their courage, commitment and resilience, we will offer free filtered coffee to all NHS, council and emergency services staff, effective immediately," Starbucks said.
Workers will be able to show their badge at the checkout for a free filter coffee every day from Wednesday.
The company added that from today, operating hours will be reviewed on a store by store basis.
Some branches in areas where people typically tend to gather in large groups will be temporarily closed, and all the others will move to a "to go" model, meaning that seating will no longer be available in any Starbucks store.
"We’ve been continuously evolving our in-store operations and establishing new protocols to increase our level of precaution, and as the situation with COVID-19 develops, we’ve reviewed all the facts and science available from government and health authorities and taken the proactive decision to progress to the next stage," a Starbucks spokeswoman said.
"As the need for social distancing increases, we've decided to temporarily close all stores in areas where people typically gather in large groups – such as cinemas and recreation parks.
"For the rest of our UK estate, the new "to go" only model will help to reduce points of contact in shops and minimise the time each customer is spending in store."
In a statement on Wednesday, coffee chain Costa announced all seating areas will be closed from Thursday – with branches accepting cashless payments only, until further notice.
"We won't be able to serve you your drink in a reusable cup but we will honour the 35p discount," the coffee chain said.
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