Taco Bell may close dining rooms because of coronavirus

The news comes as some European nations have closed restaurants indefinitely.

Taco Bell said Saturday the fast-food chain is considering closing dining rooms amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Chief Executive Officer Mark King said in a statement that the company is equipping U.S. locations to provide food via drive-thru windows or deliveries, as more cities mandate public closures and self-quarantines.

"Should we need to temporarily close our dining rooms, we would be limiting millions of guest interactions and further enabling social distancing," he said in the statement.

There are more than 155,000 confirmed cases of the virus, formally known as COVID-19, in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., there have been more than 2,500 cases and at least 56 deaths.

The Taco Bell announcement comes the same day major European nations and cities announced closures of public placings, including restaurants. France, Spain and the city of Berlin declared that restaurants and bars would be closed temporarily to help thwart spreading the virus.

King also announced that the company would amend its sick-leave policy to better accommodate employees and ensure no one works while sick.

"We'll be paying employees who are required to stay at home, or who work at a restaurant that is closed, for their scheduled or regularly scheduled hours during their time away from work," King said. "We're actively working with our franchise partners to encourage a similar approach."