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Starbucks Closes Most Stores in U.S. and Canada for Two Weeks

Ed Ludlow

(Bloomberg) -- Starbucks Corp. said it has closed most locations in the U.S. and Canada for two weeks and will pay workers for the next 30 days, amid the increasing fallout from the coronavirus.

The coffee chain will keep open locations with drive-thrus and will limit service to that part of those stores, the company said in a statement. These changes apply to company-operated cafes; licensed partners will make their own decisions. A few locations in around hospitals will remain open, according to Starbucks.

The move comes after the coffee chain had been criticized for keeping locations open, as many other retail chains shuttered stores nationwide.

In the U.S., Starbucks had already said it would pay workers more to ensure its stores are clean. It’s also guaranteeing pay for any hourly workers who have come in to contact with the virus and need to stay home. On March 15, the company moved to close some locations and operate the rest via carryout, drive-thru or delivery.

Earlier Friday, the company said it would be closing all locations in the U.K.

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