Some of Britain’s biggest chains are shutting completely in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Nando's and Costa Coffee have become the latest food and drink firms to close all of their outlets in the UK, and comes at a time when the government pleads for the public to minimise the spread of the virus.

On Friday evening, the Prime Minister ordered all restaurants, pubs, clubs, bars, theatres, cinemas, gyms, and leisure centres to close, although takeaway services could continue at food outlets.

However, some businesses have decided it is safest for their staff and customers to shut altogether.

Nando’s said in a statement on its website on Sunday that all 420 stores will shut "until further notice", with takeaway and delivery services also suspended.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Credit: PA

The company, which employs around 18,000 people, said it is working closely with its teams across the UK to "make sure that everybody affected is supported during the coming weeks".

The statement read: "The safety and security of our customers and team is always our top priority and with this in mind we have taken the decision to temporarily close all of our restaurants across the UK and Ireland during the course of today, 22nd March, to help limit the spread of Covid-19.

"Eat in, takeaway and delivery for customers will all stop until further notice and our remaining food will be given away to those who need it most across the community."

Costa Coffee also announced on Monday that it would temporarily close the majority of its 2,700 cafes from Monday at 5pm.

A statement posted on its Twitter account said it would try to keep cafes open in hospitals, with NHS staff to receive free coffee for the next two weeks.

The coffee chain said more than 16,000 members of staff at closed stores will be paid their full average weekly pay over eight weeks.

Costa chief executive Jill McDonald said: "The majority of our 2,700 stores will close, however, where possible, our stores in hospitals and some service stations will remain open to help support key workers."

It comes after McDonald's announced all of its restaurants in the UK and Ireland will close by 7pm on Monday to protect the safety of its employees and customers.

The fast-food chain, which has 135,000 employees in the UK and Ireland, posted a statement about the "difficult decision" to Twitter - adding that stores will close by that time on Monday "at the latest".

John Lewis, Primark and Timpson were among the high street chains to announce at the weekend they were closing their doors.

Patisserie Valerie chief executive James Fleming said both its in-store and online services will also cease as of Monday.

"This is unprecedented and never have I had to make such difficult decisions," he said.

"I do however genuinely believe that with the support and loyalty of our wonderful teams and guests, Patisserie Valerie will come back stronger and better than ever."

Meanwhile, fashion retailers have also been hit by the coronavirus crisis.

On Sunday Primark confirmed that it was closing all 189 of its UK stores, affecting around 37,000 jobs - though employees would be paid in full for the next 14 days, the company said.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Credit: PA

Other clothing chains including Kurt Geiger, Topshop and New Look have announced mass store closures.

The John Lewis Partnership said it is the first time in its 155-year history that it will not open its shop doors for customers - but its online services will continue.

HMV closed its stores for trade at the end of Sunday, although customers could still order through the website, with Foyles and Waterstones both closing their doors at the end of trade on Monday.

At yesterday’s press conference Boris Johnson refused to be drawn in on calls to ‘lockdown’ the whole country after images emerged of countryside spots, parks, and beaches, full of people.

He said for the physical and mental wellbeing of people, parks and open spaces should remain open but urged every to abide by the advice to keep two metres apart.