Big Mac in the distance: McDonald’s tests a coronavirus-proof restaurant

Big Macs delivered in food carts, hand sanitizer at the entrance and designated waiting places to separate customers could become a feature of McDonald’s restaurants in the Netherlands when they are allowed to reopen.

In a test of a restaurant in the city of Arnhem, McDonald’s has been examining ways to maintain social distance when confinements are relaxed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“We have tried to figure out how to keep our customers and employees safe, while maintaining a restaurant atmosphere,” McDonald’s Netherlands spokeswoman Eunice Koekkoek told Reuters. “These are drastic changes, but we hope to do them in a way that customers don’t notice too much,” he added.

Restaurants, bars and other public spaces have been closed since March 15 in the Netherlands, which as of Friday had 39,791 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 4,893 deaths.

But new infections have been declining, prompting calls to ease confinements after their current end date of May 19.

The decision on whether to reopen restaurants and bars would be known around May 12, but Prime Minister Mark Rutte has ruled out things getting back to normal.

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