(Starbucks Canada / Twitter)

You’ll have to grab your morning Starbucks to-go for the foreseeable future, as Starbucks stores all across Canada have announced the coffee chain will remove seating and close some stores amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an official statement Sunday, Starbucks Canada president Lori Digulla announced that the major coffee shop chain has chosen to temporarily remove the seating from its stores as well as “modify” their condiment bar. Staff has also been allowed to wear gloves, and there will be changes in how mobile orders are handled.

Starbucks has also said they would close all company-operated mall and university-based stores.

Regular takeout ordering and drive-thrus won’t change for the time being, but other changes could be on the horizon – including reducing hours or temporarily closing some stores.

Changes took effect Sunday, and all stores will officially be converted to the full on to-go model by Wednesday.

“This decision was not made lightly as we know the important role our stores play in service of our communities and how our customers enjoy our seating as an important part of their daily lives,” Starbucks Canada president Lori Digulla says.

The statement from Starbucks also noted that staff who cannot work because they or someone they’ve been in contact with has COVID-19 will receive Catastrophe Pay.

Local favourites Tim Hortons will also be following suit starting tomorrow, March 17th, when all restaurants will focus on take-out, drive-thru and delivery service (where available) and will close all dining room seating until further notice.

This is being done to contribute to social distancing that has been called for by public health officials.

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 175,838.

Nearly 6,717 people have died from the illness and 77,871 have made a full recovery.

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