People have been turned away from drive-thrus (Image: Getty Images)

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McDonald's customers have been turned away from drive-thus and blocked from deliveries despite the chain saying it would remain open for them.

So McDonald's chief executive Paul Pomroy has written to customers to explain what's going on – and to say sorry.

"We have heard from some of you who have been unable to access our drive-thru lanes or McDelivery provision in recent days, and I am sorry for any disappointment that has been caused by this temporary change to our services," he said.

Pomroy added that his priority was safety at the moment.

"Offering you a great service remains incredibly important, but I'm sure you'll understand that my priority is the safety and wellbeing of our brilliant restaurant teams," he wrote.

McDonald's initially said drive-thrus would stay open
(Image: PA)

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Customers had complained in recent days that they were unable to get food from the restaurant – despite promises it would stay open for drive-thru and delivery.

One person wrote on Twitter : "Really fancied McDonald's. Drove there [but] they've closed the drive thru [you] can only order online."

Another added: "@McDonaldsUK I just placed a collect order on your app and have been told by the store they are now shut and I should get a refund through the app. How do I do that?"

A third person said: "@McDonaldsUK How come the app says open, but you do to the drive through and there's no response."

Pomroy said safety came first
(Image: PA)

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Pomroy was adamant the health of staff and customers came before speed or convenience.

"We want to take some time to further review whether there are any additional measures we can take to help keep you and our employees safe," he wrote.

He added: "I know it is not the service you're used to, but I do hope you understand the reasons why we're taking these steps, slowing things down and reviewing our enhanced safety measures."

The good news is that walk in takeaways could return – if they find a way to do it safely.

"This week, we will begin reviewing our safety measures for walk-in takeaway, working with third-party experts to assess any changes we could make to enhance the additional safety measures put in place since re-opening our restaurants last year," Pomroy wrote.

There are also plans to let people order ahead, then collect food themselves either on foot or by car.

"Designated parking bays are present in all drive-thru restaurant car parks, enabling you to park, order via the My McDonald's app, and have your order safely delivered to your vehicle in a numbered bay," he said.

"We are reviewing how we might introduce a similar provision for customers on-foot and we will begin piloting this provision in the coming weeks."