Krispy Kreme has re-opened nine drive-throughs across the UK to serve the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.

The drive-throughs, which began re-opening last week, are providing NHS, police and fire service staff with a complimentary hot drink and a pack of three Original Glazed doughnuts upon identification from 27 April.

Krispy Kreme said it was hoping to bring a moment of much-needed lightness to those working tirelessly during the pandemic.

The brand is also recruiting volunteers from its staff to deliver doughnuts in their local neighbourhoods.

“Our mission to create smiles and bring joy has never been more important. We know we aren’t saving lives, but we hope to do something as small and simple as making someone smile,” said Richard Cheshire, CEO of Krispy Kreme.

Consumers are invited to nominate unsung local heroes to receive a ‘doughnutty’ thank you, it added. People can nominate via Krispy Kreme’s Serving Smiles project or social channels.

“It’s our way of saying thank you to people far and wide who are working so hard to keep our nation moving, safe and well at the moment.”

The brand has implemented a number of safety measures, including social distancing, running reduced doughnut lines with less staff on-site, appointing Covid-19 officers to oversee adherence to these processes, and implementing a contactless delivery process.

Krispy Kreme has pledged to “serve half a million smiles” to key workers throughout April and May and has already started delivering half a million Original Glazed doughnuts via contactless drops to hospitals, charities, food banks, police stations and carers.