SOME major chain stores are closed today because of the coronavirus outbreak.

They include Urban Outfitters, which has a shop in Churchill Square, Brighton.

It said, in a statement: “In an effort to protect our communities, we have decided to close all of our global stores.

“We will continue to pay our store teams during this time. As far as we know, none of our employees have tested positive for Covid-19.

“Stores will not reopen until at least March 28 and because the situation is complex and evolving rapidly, our plans may change. And if they do, we will let you know.”

It comes as Apple, which has stores in Brighton, said it would be closing all of its retail stores outside China until March 27.

It said that “the most effective way to minimise risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximise social distance.”

It added: “As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.”

Other major retailers have issued statements, saying their shops remain open albeit with special measures such as extra cleaning being implemented.

Holland & Barrett, for example, said: “The health of both our customers and our team members is our biggest priority. We are closely following the advice of Public Health England and the World Health Organisation and introducing a wide variety of measures to minimise the impact to public health.

“Cleaning in our stores has been intensified, with our teams requested to regularly sanitise their hands, and to maintain distance when working with customers, including encouraging customers to use contactless payments where possible.

“Sampling activities have also been temporarily suspended as an additional precautionary measure.

“Any of our team members who show even mild signs of flu-like symptoms have been advised to follow the government advice surrounding medical care and self-isolation, and we are ensuring that team members are supported fully during this time.”