Starbucks branches across the country will be "pausing the use of personal cups" as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus, the company has said.

The coffee chain added it would also be stepping up cleaning measures of in-store crockery such as ceramic mugs and plates.

However, Starbucks added it would "continue to honour existing discounts" for anyone who brought reusable tumblers but that its drinks would be served in paper cups.

In the meantime, the 5p charge for disposable cups will be temporarily suspended.

The announcement comes after the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed on Thursday that 25 more people had tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number in the UK to 116.

One patient, who suffered from underlying health problems, has now died.

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 implemented similar measures.

Are other chains doing the same?

Other stores based in the UK have said they have "no plans" to change their own policies on reusable cups.

  • Costa Coffee: A spokesman from 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."
  • Greggs: Greggs also confirmed that 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: The chain did not comment.