A German Café Uses Pool Noodle Hats for Social Distancing

A German Café Uses Pool Noodle Hats for Social Distancing
A café in Schwerin before the COVID-19 lockdown (representative image), Photo Credit: Shutterstock

After re-opening, the motto at the café was “Keep the social distance”

OT Staff
May 19 , 2020
03 Min Read

As lockdown restrictions are relaxed, restaurants across the world are trying to work around the obstacle of eating out while social distancing with innovative ideas (like greenhouse-like quarantine cabins and plastic partitions on tables). A café in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has come up with a rather unique way to enforce social distancing. Café Rothe in the town of Schwerin handed out hats with swim noodles taped to the top to its customers, so that they don’t sit too close to each other and also enjoy their meal on the patio. To mark the re-opening of her café, Jaqueline Rothe, the owner, posted a photo on the cafe's Facebook page showing customers sitting at tables with their new headgear on.

The shared photo has gathered more than 2,500 shares and hundreds of comments from people praising her idea. “In these difficult times, it was nice to put a smile on people’s faces in this way,” Rothe told The Independent.


A local German television station, RTL, recorded re-opening of cafés in the town, while bringing the hats with the floats measuring 1.5 metres in length. 

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A post shared by Manuella Nabuco (@manuellanabuco) on May 16, 2020 at 12:33pm PDT

Speaking about the garnered media attention, Rothe said, “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 1.5m.”

According to Rothe, the cafe and confectionery shop usually has 36 tables inside and 20 outside in warmer weather. With the new hygiene and social-distancing measures, they only have 12 tables inside and eight outside. The pre-coronavirus distance between their tables was roughly 80 cm apart.

During the shutdown, the café remained functional but was unable to serve the patrons inside. Now, it is using less than half of its seating capacity. "We will see what to expect when Germany opens up further, more people are allowed to travel and we have more tourists coming in the next few weeks, we will take it as it comes," said Rothe. As of now, Germany has recorded 1,77,000 coronavirus cases and 8,027 deaths.

We are waiting to see how the post-lockdown scenario plays out in India and what social-distancing ideas restaurants and cafes come up with. 

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