McDonald's has chosen to delay its popular Monopoly fast food game to ensure customers will be able to redeem prizes available, including luxury holidays, city breaks and cruises, which may be cancelled as a result of the coronavirus.
The fast food chain’s bosses said they have chosen to delay the game as a "broader implication" of the pandemic, which has killed 71 people in the UK.
McDonald’s said this year’s prizes include a number of holidays which have been "impacted by current and ongoing restrictions on international travel."
The company said it does not feel as though it would be "appropriate" to continue the game at this time and will delay the promotion until "later this year".
In a statement, a McDonald's spokesman said: "As we review the broader implications of the pandemic, we have taken the decision to delay this year's Monopoly promotion until we can be confident that customers can win, claim and redeem the prizes available.
"This year’s prizes include a number of luxury holidays, European city breaks and cruises which will have all been impacted by current and ongoing restrictions on international travel.
"Following conversations with our suppliers and prize partners, we feel it is appropriate to delay the promotion until later this year.
"I apologise for any disappointment caused by this update and I look forward to Monopoly returning to our restaurants as soon as possible."
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The travel industry has been severely affected by the coronavirus, with UK regional airline FlyBe taking a hit within days of the disease being announced as a pandemic.
Hoteliers, restaurants and airlines have all reported losses world-wide as governments shut down borders to keep the general public safe.
US President Donald Trump imposed a ban for all of Europe, later extended to the UK last week.
Spain, France, and Italy are also taking extreme “draconian” measures to curb the disease, with a complete lockdown of the country.
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McDonald's decision to halt the game comes as it prepares to close all seating areas in all restaurants across the UK and Ireland.
None of McDonald's restaurants will offer dine-in or table service but the app will continue to "offer the opportunity to order and pay ahead for collection and Drive Thru."
Bosses said it would be making the move to "ensure the wellbeing of our employees and customers consistent with the governments' guidance on social distancing."
All orders will now be "contact-free" with "immediate effect" to ensure "no physical contact between customers, employees and couriers wherever possible."
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