After successfully slowing the spread of COVID-19, Germany is one of many countries attempting to reopen its cafes and restaurants. However, life is far from returning to normal—many establishments are having to adhere to specific hygiene and social distancing rules. Cafe & Konditorei Rothe in the city of Schwerin is one of those places, and they've come up with a fun way to ensure their guests stay a safe distance apart—1.5m (4.9 feet).
The cafe’s owner, Jacqueline Rothe, came up with the idea to use pool noodles to keep patrons apart. Each customer is asked to wear a straw hat with the colorful, cylindrical polyethylene foam objects attached at the top. The unusual idea not only keeps people apart, but it’s hard not to laugh at how ridiculous it looks. Rothe says, “In these difficult times, it’s a pleasure to make others smile.”
This isn’t the first time people have adopted headwear to combat the virus. At a primary school in Hangzhou, China, children made elaborate hats with 1-meter-long “wings.” Just like the patrons of Cafe & Konditorei Rothe, each wacky headpiece creates a safe zone around them. However, Rothe admitted that her hats were just a one-off requirement for the reopening of the cafe and the guest won’t have to wear them regularly.
Cafe & Konditorei Rothe in Germany used funny hats with pool noodles to enforce social distancing rules.
Oh my god, this is amazing. A German cafe is making people wear swimming pool noodles as hats to enforce social distancing.
— Katy Lee (@kjalee) May 14, 2020