McDonald's says it is carrying out operational tests this week to explore what reopening its restaurants in the UK and Ireland might involve.

However, the UK restaurant where the testing is taking place remains closed to the public.

"These tests will include exploring social distancing measures for our crew, PPE options and opening in a limited capacity," said Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald's for the UK and Ireland.

"For now we remain closed, and will only reopen when we are absolutely confident we can have the right measures in place to ensure everyone's wellbeing."

The company temporarily closed its branches here and in the UK in March as restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 increased.

"Recently, we began working through a potential and limited reopening," Mr Pomroy said.

"We have been listening to our employees and customers as well as engaging with government and trade bodies in the UK and Ireland to help ensure we do this responsibly, when the time is right."

He said reopening is not easy, even when capacity is limited and key criteria include ensuring the safety of staff, securing sufficient supplies of produce and making sure customers are kept safe.

Last week Irish-owned Supermacs said it was reopening on a limited basis, offering delivery, drive through and drive and collect services at some outlets.