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7 rules at McDonald’s as it reopens for takeaways and why you’ll face longer queues

MCDONALD’S restaurants will reopen for takeaways later this month – but you’ll need to follow a set of rules when picking up your food.

The fast-food giant closed its branches to walk-in customers in January when England was put into the third coronavirus national lockdown.

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McDonald's hopes to reopen all of its restaurants for walk-ins by February 22


McDonald’s hopes to reopen all of its restaurants for walk-ins by February 22Credit: Getty Images – Getty

Although food outlets can stay open for takeaways, the chain decided to stop the service while it worked out ways to do it safely.

Instead, fans craving a Maccie’s over the past month have had to order their meals through the drive-thru or its click and serve service.

Customers have also been able to get their food delivered through Uber Eats and Just Eat for an extra fee.

McDonald’s will start trialling walk-ins at 26 locations this week as it tries out a raft of new safety measures.

What Covid measures has McDonald’s introduced?

THE fast food chain has introduced a wide range of measures to keep staff and customers safe – these include:

  • Protective screens in its kitchen and service areas
  • Smaller teams in its kitchens to enable social distancing
  • Face coverings and daily temperature checks for all employees
  • Hand and bag sanitising stations and face coverings for its McDelivery partner couriers
  • Contact-free order and payment available via the My McDonald’s App
  • Enhanced cleaning of all surfaces and touchpoints

It then hopes to open all branches in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland from Monday February 22 onwards.

Unfortunately, lockdown rules in Scotland mean that branches won’t be able to offer walk-in takeaways.

Customers heading inside to place an order will have to follow a set of rules to protect themselves and staff from the spread of Covid-19. We take you through them below.

“It’s safe to say it’s not been the start to 2021 that any of us hoped for,” Maccie’s boss Paul Pomroy said in an email to customers.

“But I am incredibly grateful for the hard work and dedication shown by our employees, franchisees and suppliers to ensure we’ve been able to continue to serve you safely through McDelivery and our Drive-thru lanes.”

He added: “I kindly ask you all to keep playing your part as we bring more of our restaurant options back to your community.”

1. You’ll have to queue outside when it’s busy

McDonald’s had already limited the number of customers allowed in the branch at any one time so people could socially distance.

The chain has added extra restrictions on the number of customers and delivery drivers inside at the same time to allow for walk-ins.

It means that at busier times, you may be asked to wait outside until it’s safe to go in.

Exactly how many customers are allowed in at the same time depends on the size of the store so it will be different at each branch.

You may be able to avoid queuing outside by visiting at quieter times. You can find out when your local branch is at its busiest by using Google’s popular times tool.

2. Be patient as it could take longer to get served

To make sure staff can social distance while at work, McDonald’s is operating with smaller teams in the kitchens and front of house.

Staff are also working with extra safety equipment that has been put up to help stop the spread of the virus, such as protective perspex screens.

The measures mean it may take longer for your food to be prepared and served to you.

Mr Pomroy said: “I thank you again for your continued patience and kindness.”

What items are included on the reduced McDonald’s menu?

MCDONALD’S is currently running a reduced menu.

Here’s what’s being sold:


  • Muffin with jam
  • Bacon roll
  • Hash brown
  • Egg and cheese McMuffin
  • Sausage and egg McMuffin
  • Double sausage and egg McMuffin
  • Bacon and egg McMuffin
  • Double bacon and egg McMuffin
  • Cheesy bacon flatbread
  • Pancakes and syrup
  • Pancakes and syrup with sausage

Main Menu:

  • Cheeseburger
  • Hamburger
  • Double cheeseburger
  • Triple cheeseburger
  • Big Mac
  • Quarter pounder with cheese
  • Double quarter pounder with cheese
  • McChicken sandwich
  • Filet-O-Fish
  • Chicken McNuggets
  • Chicken selects
  • Vegetable deluxe (currently unavailable)
  • Veggie dippers (currently unavailable)
  • Mayo chicken
  • Bacon mayo chicken
  • Bacon double cheeseburger
  • Chicken Legend with BBQ sauce
  • Chicken Legend with cool mayo
  • Chicken Legend with hot and spicy mayo
  • The BBQ and Bacon Chicken One
  • The Sweet Chilli Chicken One

Sides & Desserts:

  • Fries
  • Mozzarella dippers
  • Core McFlurry (Oreo, Maltesers, Smarties)
  • Fruit bag
  • Carrot bag
  • Side salad
  • Apple pies
  • Millionaire’s donut


  • Coke
  • Diet Coke
  • Coke Zero
  • Fanta
  • Sprite
  • Oasis
  • Black Coffee
  • White Coffee
  • Latte
  • Cappuccino
  • Espresso
  • Flat White
  • Tea
  • Toffee latte
  • Orange Juice
  • Fruit Shoot
  • Water
  • Happy Meal Water
  • Happy Meal organic milk bottles
  • Milkshakes
  • Hot chocolate

Happy Meal Variants:

  • Happy Meal – Hamburger
  • Happy Meal – Cheeseburger
  • Happy Meal – Four Nuggets
  • Happy Meal – Veggie Dippers

Available from October 7:

  • Spicy quarter pounder with cheese
  • Quarter pounder deluxe
  • McChicken BLT
  • Nacho cheese wedges
  • Nacho cheese wedges (sharebox)
  • Salted caramel latte

3. Customers must wear a mask

Customers are required by law to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose when inside a pub or restaurants.

Those who refuse to wear one could be slapped with a ÂŁ200 on-the-spot fine.

McDonald’s staff will hand out face masks to customers who’ve forgotten to bring theirs.

You don’t have to wear one if you’re medically exempt, such as children under the age of 11, those who suffer with a respiratory illness or if it causes the wearer severe distress.

Staff at the till will be required to wear a visor as well as a face mask.

4. Follow the signs while inside

The restaurant chain has said it has “enhanced processes for managing the flow of people” when inside.

This means there may be more signs around the branch telling you which direction to walk in and where to stand while you wait for your food.

You must follow the rules and abide by the signs while you’re inside one of the restaurants.

5. Hand sanitise before going in

Customers will need to use hand sanitiser when they arrive at the restaurant, before going in.

Maccies says it has upped it’s hand sanitiser game, making the stations bigger and more convenient.

Bag sanitising stations will also be made available for delivery drivers when picking up orders.

Mr Pomroy wrote: “We’ll be making our sanitising stations bigger and more convenient over the coming weeks to make this even easier for you, with plenty of hand sanitiser around the restaurant to make use of.”

6. Order via the My McDonald’s app

Customers are being advised to place and pay for their orders via the My McDonald’s app for a contact-free service.

The app is free to download from the Apple and Android store, but you’ll need to register an account before you can use it.

Alternatively, customers can order food through the touch screens inside the branch and pay by card or contactless.

McDonald’s has said it has increased its cleaning regime for all surfaces and touch points, such as door handles.

7. Opening hours may change

The chain has warned that opening hours will continue to vary depending on the branch.

Under the current lockdown rules, food outlets can serve meals for walk-in takeaway until 11pm.

They can continue to operate for click and collect, drive-thru and delivery services after the curfew.

It’s best to check when your local branch is open before heading out by using the store locator tool.

McDonald’s fans only have until the end of today to buy the fast food chain’s katsu curry chicken nuggets.

The snack, and three other items including the Big Tasty and McFlurry Galaxy Salted Caramel, are being taken off the menu to make room for new products.

Fans of the katsu nuggets have pleaded with McDonald’s to make the dish a permanent addition.

McDonald’s fan claims his chicken nugget tip makes them taste BETTER – all you need is maple syrup



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