McDonald's said it is rapidly expanding its store openings across the UK tohave more than 1,000 restaurants reopened for drive-thru or delivery by Thursday, 4 June. It includes the 28 restaurants in Northern Ireland.

Last week the fast food chain reopened 33 drive-thru in England and the Republic of Ireland but the company said it also decided to close some lanes where demand "impacted local communities or the safety of our people or customers" due to long queues.

The company said every drive-thru in the UK and Ireland will be reopenedbetween Tuesday and Thursday of next week.

McDonald's stressed that face coverings, gloves, Perspex screens and new safety and hygiene processes mean it will look different, and service could be slow. They have urged customers to be patient.

The chain said it will continue to offer a limited menu over reduced hours andwill cap spending at £25. No breakfast menu will be available. Shakes and wraps will also not be made.

A McDonald's spokesman said: "This is only possible following the hard work of the teams in our 44 pilot restaurants.

"Over the last fortnight, our employees, franchisees and suppliers have worked tirelessly to implement new procedures to enable safe working so that we can now help all parts of the UK and Ireland to enjoy the return of the Big Mac.

"With fewer employees working in our kitchens and service areas, our teamswill still need your patience and support as they continue to adjust to the newways of working."

The move was endorsed by Economy Minister Diane Dodds, who said,

Our move to reopen has been publically endorsed by Economy Minister Diane Dodds who can be quoted saying:

“I welcome today’s announcement by McDonald’s on their plans to reopen 28 restaurants across Northern Ireland.

McDonald’s contribution to the Northern Ireland economy cannot be underestimated.

The company employs a large number of people across Northern Ireland and purchases a range of Northern Irish produce including milk and beef.

As we move towards our economic recovery, I would commend McDonald’s and businesses throughout Northern Ireland in their ongoing work to enable and support the re-opening of the economy.”