Environment secretary George Eustice has said drive-through food businesses such as McDonald's are "made for" social distancing.
Speaking at the daily briefing on Friday (8 May) Eustice said he has had a "number of discussions" with food companies such as McDonald's, KFC and Costa Coffee and that, while he understood there were a number of reasons why such businesses chose to close their outlets, the government was "quite explicit that it [the lockdown] didn't cover takeaway food… we were quite keen to keep that capacity".
He said: "Our view is that probably a McDonald's drive-through is made for the social distancing situation that we are in, in that people do not leave their car… It is quite possible for these venues to reopen and reopen safely. We never mandated that they should close."
Businesses such as Pret, McDonald's and KFC have started reopening some of their outlets in recent weeks. Eustice added that these businesses could "learn lessons" from what supermarkets have done as they tentatively consider reopening.