McDonald’s is reportedly weighing whether to once again close indoor dining as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues its rapid spread through the U.S.
According to Reuters, the fast-food chain instructed franchisees on steps to take to close indoor dining in locations heavily affected by the delta variant.
In an emailed statement to USA TODAY, McDonald’s said they are monitoring the impact of delta variant closely and recently convened with franchisees “to underscore existing safety protocols, reinforce our people-first approach and provide updates on the rise in cases in the country.”
McDonald’s closed indoor seating and play areas March 2020 as Americans were asked to remain at home to help curb the spread of COVID-19. The chain slowly reopened indoor dining around May 2021.
During a call with franchisees, McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger said he is “incredibly confident” the company will be able to navigate this recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
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“What’s different for us is that we have a much deeper sense of what actions make a difference for the safety of our restaurant teams and crew,” said Erlinger, according to notes from the meeting. “That’s a position of strength, and the result of hard work and close collaboration.”
The rise of the delta variant has forced many companies, school districts and governments to revisit restrictions, including mask-wearing and vaccination requirements for workers. Vaccine mandates may be more likely after the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.