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German café asks patrons to wear pool-noodle hats to enforce social distancing

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: German cafe introduces pool-noodle hats to demonstrate social distancing' Coronavirus outbreak: German cafe introduces pool-noodle hats to demonstrate social distancing
WATCH: A cafe in Schwerin, Germany, handed out hats affixed with pool noodles to patrons to encourage social distancing on their first day back in business on May 9, reports said. Owner Jacqueline Rothe said the hats were meant to show a safe distance and control difficulties restaurants and other food and beverage service venues would face as such places begin to reopen – May 15, 2020

Pool parties are still off-limits during the coronavirus pandemic, but one German restaurant has found another use for pool noodles.

The owners of Cafe & Konditorei Rothe in the German town of Schwerin are the latest in a swath of businesses being forced to think outside the box during reopening stages.

During their reopening on Saturday, they had patrons don special hats. Not just any hat — they had pool noodles attached to them.

READ MORE: U.S. restaurants using blow-up dolls, mannequins to enforce physical distancing

The idea is that the noodles will enforce the safe two-metre distance that has been touted as the appropriate space to avoid transmission of the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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In a photo shared to Facebook by the restaurant, patrons can be seen enjoying the sunny weather at outdoor tables, all wearing hats with colourful pool noodles attached to them.

“Today it’s like this: distance measurement,” the caption says in German.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus around the world: May 14, 2020' Coronavirus around the world: May 14, 2020
Coronavirus around the world: May 14, 2020 – May 14, 2020

The customers enjoyed the silly hats, owner Jacqueline Rothe told CNN, but the experiment proved how hard it is to maintain the distance, even for well-informed adults.

“This was the perfect method to keep customers apart — and a fun one,” she said, adding that local TV company RTL came up with the idea. “It was a perfect gag and of course it was funny, our customers were really into it. But what it did show to us (was) how difficult it is to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.”

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While her restaurant typically has 56 tables, it’s down to 20 because of hygiene and social-distancing rules, she told CNN.

READ MORE: Man with 1% chance of surviving COVID-19 recovers after 64 days

Meanwhile, restaurants in the U.S. are using blow-up dolls and mannequins to enforce the rules, while also giving restaurants a “fuller” feel.

A restaurant in South Carolina called Open Hearth has placed blow-up dolls in empty booths, while three-Michelin star restaurant Inn at Little Washington in Virginia is doing something similar, only with dressed-up mannequins.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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