Subway and Tortilla will close all of their restaurants for delivery, takeaway and collection today.

Subway has made the decision to authorise its franchise owners to close all stores in the UK and Ireland from 5pm this afternoon (23 March).

“We took this decision as we want to continue doing everything in our power to keep people safe,” said Colin Hughes, Subway UK and Ireland director.

“We believe closing the stores is the right thing to do. By supporting social distancing, we can help protect not just our loyal guests, dedicated franchise owners and sandwich artists, but the wider communities they serve.”

Burrito brand Tortilla will also be closing the doors of its entire estate today.

“We at Tortilla want to thank you for supporting us at this crazy time, and to thank our amazing crew for their strength and resilience in continuing to serve the best burritos in town, crisis or not,” it said in a statement.

“Theirs and your safety is our top priority, which is why we’ve made the heart-breaking decision to close all of our restaurants today.”

Both operators have said they will distribute leftover food to local community groups and emergency workers wherever possible.

Healthy eating to-go brand Pure has also opted for a full closure to protect the safety of its teams.

“We could have carried on a bit longer as a takeaway and delivery service, but we wanted to protect the safety of our teams and we didn’t want to ignore government advice about restricting movement to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” it said in a statement on its social media.

Following the closure of its 274 dine-in pizzerias on Friday, Pizza Express will close all UK restaurants for Deliveroo, click and collect and takeaway effective immediately. 

“As events unfolded over the weekend and with the increased social distancing being mandated, we no longer believe it remains in the best interests of our customers and teams to continue to operate,” it said in a statement.

The brand has said it will re-open its restaurants as soon as it is safe to do so, and in the mean time will be increasing the production of its at home retail range. 

Mexican casual dining chain Wahaca will be closing in all locations as of this afternoon (23 March) to achieve the appropriate social distancing for staff. 

”In this tough time, we really wanted to try and keep some restaurants open for takeout and delivery, so that even though you couldn’t’ come to us we could bring some sunshine and tacos to you,” it said in a statement on its social media. “However, we realise with social distancing this just isn’t possible for us and like so many others we have found ourselves having to make difficult choices and have decided to completely stop cooking for now.”

The brands are the latest to abandon takeaway and delivery following McDonald’s and Nando’s, amid growing concern for staff welfare, and to avoid being perceived as irresponsible.

Meanwhile, brands like Pret and itsu, which have a heavy presence in central London, will have experienced a sharp drop off in takeaway and delivery as their office worker demographic works from home.