German cafe gives customers ‘pool noodle’ hats to ensure social distancing after reopening

Olivia Petter
Sunday 17 May 2020 15:40 BST
(Cafe & Konditorei Rothe)

A cafe in Germany celebrated its reopening by giving customers hats made from pool noodles to ensure that people maintained social distancing guidelines.

Cafe Rothe in Schwerin was allowed to reopen after lockdown restrictions in Germany were eased.

Owner Jaqueline Rothe shared a photograph of diners wearing the hats outside the cafe on Facebook, where it quickly went viral.

Now, Rothe’s post has garnered more than 2,500 shares and hundreds of comments from people praising the idea.

“In these difficult times, it was nice to put a smile on people’s faces in this way, Rothe tells The Independent.

Rothe explained that local TV company RTL was filming the reopening of cafes and restaurants in the area and they were the ones to bring along the noodle hats.

“We asked our customers if they would take part by wearing the hats and a lot of people said yes,” she adds.

But Rothe hopes the photograph also serves to show how challenging it is for the catering trade to continue business if more than half of their seats are removed, given that maintaining social distancing requires cafes and restaurants to use fewer tables.

“It is very difficult for our industry,” she adds.

The cafe usually has 36 tables inside and 20 outside when the weather is warm.

But the new hygiene and social distancing regulations mean they can now only have 12 tables inside and eight outside.

To date, Germany has recorded more than 176,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 8,000 deaths.

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