Starbucks has temporarily banned the use of reusable personal cups in its UK stores in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
The coffee chain said customers bringing in their own mugs would still get a 25p discount, but their drinks will be served in paper cups, as a precaution against the spread of infection.
The 5p charge for disposable cups is also to be suspended.
Branches are also to step up the cleaning of in-store crockery such as ceramic mugs and plates.
Latest figures show there have been 116 cases of COVID-19 in the UK, which has more than doubled in the last 48 hours.
This is out of nearly 18,000 people tested.
One woman in her 70s with underlying health conditions has died after catching coronavirus.
Starbucks’ vice president of retail for Europe, Robert Lynch, said: “Out an abundance of caution, we are pausing the use of personal cups or tumblers in our stores across the UK.
“However, we will continue to honour our 25p discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup.
“As a result, we are suspending our 5p… charges for paper cups as well, given this decision prevents customers from opting for reusables.
“In addition, we are introducing increased cleaning measures for stores as well as for all ‘for here’ ware (ceramic mugs, plates, etc.)”
Starbucks stores in the US have already taken similar measures.
Other UK coffee stores have said they have “no plans” to change their own policies on reusable cups.
A spokesman for Costa Coffee said: “We have no plans to stop allowing the use of reusable cups in our stores, but like all retailers we are monitoring the situation closely and are following government advice and guidance.”
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Greggs also confirmed there would be no changes in its own policy, and that customers bringing their own cups would still receive a 20p discount on drinks.
Pret a Manger did not comment.
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