Free drinks and discounts for emergency services staff during coronavirus pandemic

18 March 2020, 10:35

McDonalds stores have shut down their seating areas across the UK
McDonalds stores have shut down their seating areas across the UK. Picture: LBC News
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Fast-food chains are offering free drinks and discounts to NHS staff and emergency workers as the Covid-19 pandemic worsens.

All emergency services staff, health and social workers in the UK will be able to able to collect free drinks at all restaurants while Government guidance allows them to stay open.

The chain's restaurants are to become takeaways, drive-thrus and delivery operations as the company attempts to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

Read more: Coronavirus - Who should self-isolate and for how long?

On Wednesday morning, the official Pret Twitter account said hot drinks would be "on the house" for all employees with a valid NHS staff card, and discounts are being offered on food.

"Your hot drinks are on the house from today, and we'll take 50% off everything else," the tweet said.

"Thank you for everything you are doing. We look forward to serving you."

Read more: Coronavirus symptoms - What are they and what is the risk of Covid-19 in the UK?

Pret chief executive officer Pano Christou said it was important to "show solidarity and stand by each other in this difficult time" as he announced the discounts.

He said: "The teams on the frontline of the NHS are doing an extraordinary job and deserve all our support through this crisis.

"Hopefully this small step helps brighten their day."