Ikea to close all 22 UK stores due to coronavirus

IKEA is to close all its UK stores at 6pm tomorrow due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The temporary measure was announced this evening by the Swedish furniture chain.

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Shoppers will still be able to buy items from Ikea online or through the store's app.

The chain will also still be making deliveries and said customers can choose a "contact-free" delivery option.

Ikea had already closed its restaurants, cafes and bistros, plus its outside play areas for kids, following the spread of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. 

It's not clear when stores are expected to open again.

We've asked Ikea if customers can expect longer delivery times than usual and we'll update this story when we know more.

The Sun is also checking what the mass-closure means for shop workers.

Ikea has 22 stores and two planning studios in the UK.

Peter Jelkeby, country retail manager and chief sustainability officer, said: "These are extraordinary times, and our absolute priority is to ensure the health and safety of our customers and co-workers.

"We have listened carefully to them, to the advice of the UK and Ireland governments, and have been closely monitoring the situation as this evolves.

"This is the right decision for us to take at this point.

"We look forward to welcoming our customers back to our stores in the future."

Ikea isn't the only retailer to have made drastic changes in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Greggs has closed its seating areas and toilets to help stop the spread of the virus.

The same goes for McDonald's, which has also shut off its seating areas leaving only takeaway and drive-thru options.

Meanwhile, easyJet staff have been asked to take three months unpaid leave due to coronavirus.

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