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Your favorite McDonald’s will look very different when it reopens

Your favorite McDonald’s will look very different when it reopens

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coronavirus, McDonald's, reopen, safety guidelines

As states ease coronavirus restrictions, more businesses are slowly starting to open or are planning to reopen soon. The world’s largest restaurant company, McDonald’s, also plans to reopen soon. The company is implementing detailed guidelines for stores to follow amid the coronavirus pandemic. If these new safety guidelines are to be believed, then your favorite McDonald’s store will look very different from before.

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Safety guidelines after McDonald’s reopens

McDonald's will introduce many safety measures once its dining rooms reopen amid the coronavirus. All these safety guidelines from McDonald's, such as contactless operations, deep-cleaning procedures, seating arrangements and more, have been included in a 60-page document entitled The Dine-In Reopening Playbook. The company said the rules and safety precautions will apply to all of its 14,000 stores in the U.S.

The guidelines require employees to wear masks and gloves and wash their hands every hour. Before starting work, every employee's temperature will be taken. According to the document, the restaurants will be cleaned more frequently, and there will be signs all over to remind customers about social distancing.

Further, the digital kiosks will be cleaned each time a customer uses them, while the restrooms will be cleaned every 30 minutes and “high-touch areas” will be disinfected. The tables must be cleaned and sanitized after every use. To document the cleanings, the company recommends using a tracking sheet.

The document says it won’t be mandatory for customers to wear masks. However, in the  municipalities that have made face coverings mandatory, masks should be made available to customers upon request.

Physical changes at the stores

The fast food chain will change seating and table arrangements to ensure social distancing. If you are eating inside the restaurant, an employee will deliver food to your table in a double-folded bag. Further, the document mentions putting protective panels at drive-thru windows and counters where orders are taken.

The document also details how to keep customers six feet away from each other. It states that stores should use floor stickers to mark "clearly recognizable paths." These stickers will not only help keep customers waiting in the line six feet away from each other, but they should help them remain six feet away from tables as well.

Moreover, the company said the Play Places and interactive games will remain closed. Additionally, self-serve beverage bars will be closed. Instead, employees will pour drinks for customers using the fountains. According to the company, this is on the recommendation of an epidemiologist and how customers would see the self-service bars.

"Brand perception is another concern," the document notes, "and how this would/could play out in the minds of the customers given heightened perceptions around hygiene and safety as they see other customers not take precautions."

How employees should talk to customers

The McDonald’s document also details how employees should talk to people who may want to know why the dining areas are open.

"We are all in this together and this team has come together in so many amazing ways over the last few months," the employees can say.

To a customer who is not following the social distancing guidelines, an employee can say, "I apologize for any inconvenience, but to help keep everyone safe, we'd like all our guests to maintain a safe distance of 6 feet from each other and our staff."

At the beginning of the document, the company asks restaurant operators to remember that they “only get one chance to do this the right way.”

Further, the document highlights how much is at stake for McDonald’s and other restaurants as they reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. The document recommends that employees use a "thumbs up" sign to check with customers eating at tables.

“As our daily routines continue to evolve, we remain committed to safely serving you and our local neighborhoods around the country," McDonald's USA President Joe Erlinger said in a statement.

According to The Times, after the local government allows resumption of dine-in services, a McDonald’s official will decide if the restaurant can open. As of now, the company has not shared any timeline on when McDonald’s locations will reopen. McDonald’s drive-thru and takeout largely continued throughout the pandemic lockdowns.

In the U.K. and Ireland, McDonald's hopes to open drive-thru outlets by early June. This week, the fast food chain is starting delivery from 15 restaurants. Next week, it will reopen 30 drive-thrus. The outlets will offer a limited menu, and there will be a limit of £25 per order or per car.

The post Your favorite McDonald’s will look very different when it reopens appeared first on .

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China Suggests It Could Maintain ‘Zero COVID’ Policy For 5 Years

China Suggests It Could Maintain ‘Zero COVID’ Policy For 5 Years

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

China has suggested it will…

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China Suggests It Could Maintain 'Zero COVID' Policy For 5 Years

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

China has suggested it will maintain its controversial ‘zero COVID’ policy for at least 5 years, eschewing natural immunity and guaranteeing repeated rounds of new lockdowns.

“In the next five years, Beijing will unremittingly grasp the normalization of epidemic prevention and control,” said a story published by Beijing Daily.

The article quoted Cai Qi, the Communist Party of China’s secretary in Beijing and a former mayor of the city, who said that ‘zero COVID’ approach would remain in place for 5 years.

After the story prompted alarm, reference to “five years” was removed from the piece and the hashtag related to it was censored by social media giant Weibo.

“Monday’s announcement and the subsequent amendment sparked anger and confusion among Beijing residents online,” reports the Guardian.

“Most commenters appeared unsurprised at the prospect of the system continuing for another half-decade, but few were supportive of the idea.”

Although western experts severely doubt official numbers coming out of China, Beijing claimed success in limiting COVID deaths by enforcing the policy throughout 2021.

However, this meant that China never achieved anything like herd immunity, and at one stage the Omicron variant caused more more coronavirus cases in Shanghai in four weeks than in the previous two years of the entire pandemic.

Back in May, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus suggested that China would be better off if it abandoned the policy, but Beijing refused to budge.

As we previously highlighted, the only way of enforcing a ‘zero COVID’ policy is via brutal authoritarianism.

In Shanghai, children were separated from their parents in quarantine facilities and others were left without urgent treatment like kidney dialysis.

Panic buying of food also became a common occurrence as the anger threatened to spill over into widespread civil unrest.

Former UK government COVID-19 advisor Neil Ferguson previously admitted that he thought “we couldn’t get away with” imposing Communist Chinese-style lockdowns in Europe because they were too draconian, and yet it happened anyway.

“It’s a communist one party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought,” said Ferguson.

“And then Italy did it. And we realised we could,” he added.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden Tue, 06/28/2022 - 18:05

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No sign of major crude oil price decline any time soon

Bullish pressure on crude oil markets doesn’t seem to be easing Crude oil prices fell last week, notching their second weekly decline in the face of…

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Bullish pressure on crude oil markets doesn’t seem to be easing

Crude oil prices fell last week, notching their second weekly decline in the face of concern that rising interest rates could push the global economy into recession.

Yet the future of crude oil still seems bullish to many. Spare capacity, or lack of it, is just one of the reasons.

The global surplus of crude production capacity in May was less than half the 2021 average, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Friday.

The EIA estimated that as of May, producers in nations not members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had about 280,000 barrels per day (bpd) of surplus capacity, down sharply from 1.4 million bpd in 2021. It said 60 per cent of the May 2021 figure was from Russia, which is increasingly under sanctions related to its invasion of Ukraine.

The OPEC+ alliance of oil producers is running out of capacity to pump crude, and that includes its most significant member, Saudi Arabia, Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva told Bloomberg last week.

“Some people believe the prices to be a little bit on the high side and expect us to pump a little bit more, but at this moment there is really little additional capacity,” Sylva said in a briefing with reporters on Friday. “Even Saudi Arabia, Russia, of course, Russia, is out of the market now more or less.” Nigeria was also unable to fulfil its output obligations, added Sylva.

Recent COVID-19-related lockdowns in parts of China – the world’s largest crude importer – also played a significant role in the global oil dynamics. The lack of Chinese oil consumption due to the lockdowns helped keep the markets in a check – somewhat.

Oil prices haven’t peaked yet because Chinese demand has yet to return to normal, a United Arab Emirates official told a conference in Jordan early this month. “If we continue consuming, with the pace of consumption we have, we are nowhere near the peak because China is not back yet,” UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei said. “China will come with more consumption.”

Al-Mazrouei warned that without more investment across the globe, OPEC and its allies can’t guarantee sufficient supplies of oil as demand fully recovers from the pandemic.

But the check on the Chinese crude consumption seems to be easing.

On Saturday, Beijing, a city of 21 million-plus people, announced that primary and secondary schools would resume in-person classes. And as life seemed to return to normal, the Universal Beijing Resort, which was closed for nearly two months, reopened on Saturday.

Chinese economic hub Shanghai, with a population of 28 million-plus people, also declared victory over COVID after reporting zero new local cases for the first time in two months.

The two major cities were among several places in China that implemented curbs to stop the spread of the omicron wave from March to May.

But the easing of sanctions should mean oil’s price trajectory will resume its upward march.

In the meantime, in the U.S., the Biden administration is eying tougher anti-smog requirements. According to Bloomberg, that could negatively impact drilling across parts of the Permian Basin, which straddles Texas and New Mexico and is the world’s biggest oil field.

While the world is looking for clues about what the loss of supply from Russia will mean, reports are pouring in that the ongoing political turmoil in Libya could plague its oil output throughout the year.

The return of blockades on oilfields and export terminals amid renewed political tension is depriving the market of some of Libya’s oil at a time of tight global supply, said Tsvetana Paraskova in a piece for Oilrpice.com.

And in the ongoing political push to strangle Russian energy output, the G7 was reportedly discussing a price cap on oil imports from Russia. Western countries are increasingly frustrated that their efforts to squeeze out Russian energy supplies from the markets have had the counterproductive effect of driving up the global crude price, which is leading to Russia earning more money for its war chest.

To tackle the issue, and increase pressure on Russia, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is proposing a price cap on Russian crude oil sales. The idea is to lift the sanction on insurance for Russian crude cargo for countries that accept buying Russian oil at an agreed maximum price. Her proposal is aimed at squeezing Russian crude out of the market as much as possible.

So the bullish pressure on crude oil markets doesn’t seem to be easing.

By Rashid Husain Syed

Toronto-based Rashid Husain Syed is a respected energy and political analyst. The Middle East is his area of focus. As well as writing for major local and global newspapers, Rashid is also a regular speaker at major international conferences. He has provided his perspective on global energy issues to the Department of Energy in Washington and the International Energy Agency in Paris.

Courtesy of Troy Media

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WTI Extends Gains After Unexpected Crude Draw

WTI Extends Gains After Unexpected Crude Draw

Oil prices are higher today following relatively positive news from China (easing some of its…

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WTI Extends Gains After Unexpected Crude Draw

Oil prices are higher today following relatively positive news from China (easing some of its COVID quarantine restrictions), Macron-inspired doubts over the ability of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to significantly boost output, and unrest in Ecuador and Libya helped lift prices.

“We’re in the crunch period, it’s hard to see any meaningful price relief for crude,” said John Kilduff.

There’s a lot of strength with China relaxing its Covid restrictions and starting its independent refiners, “we’re going to have another chunk of demand for crude oil,” as China relaxes its Covid-19 restrictions.

With no EIA data released last week due to a "systems issue" (they have issued a statement confirming that the data - and the newest data - will both be released tomorrow), the only guidance we have for now on the past week's inventory changes is from API...

API (last week)

  • Crude +5.607mm

  • Cushing -390k

  • Gasoline +1.216mm - first build since March

  • Distillates -1.656mm

API (this week)

  • Crude -3.799mm

  • Cushing -650k

  • Gasoline +2.852mm

  • Distillates +2.613mm

Crude stocks unexpectedly fell last week, almost erasing the major build from the week before (according to API). Gasoline stocks rose for the second straight week

Source: Bloomberg

WTI was hovering around $111.75 and pushed up to $112 after the unexpected crude draw...

Finally, we note that the tight supply situation in oil (especially European) is revealing itself in the WTI-Brent spread, grew to $6.19, the widest in almost three months.

“European demand will remain robust, especially as natural gas supplies run out, while the North American demand for crude is weakening,” said Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.

This is not good news for President Biden as prices are rising...

And his ratings are hitting record lows.

Tyler Durden Tue, 06/28/2022 - 16:37

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