As lockdown measures lift around the world, social distancing measures are being implemented for people returning to public life. A German cafe, Cafe & Konditoreei Rothe, found their own DIY solution to keep practicing social distancing for their customers — pool noodle hats. The cafe asked its customers to wear hats with pool noodles attached to them to make sure they stuck to social distancing measures.
The cafe, located in Schwerin, Germany, shared their unusual dining practice on their Facebook page. Customers can be seen wearing the pool noodle hats as they sit and dine on pastries, coffee, and wine. Owner Jaqueline Rothe, 52, wrote in the caption, “Today it’s like this: distance measurement.”
The move has been both praised and criticized online.
Some have gushed over the creativity of the cafe as they found another way for people to have a dine-in experience while social distancing. Others have questioned just how sanitary the move is if customers are reusing the pool noodle hats, and how often the cafe is properly disinfecting them.
Rothe spoke to CNN and explained that they had cut their seating capacity in half to help enforce social distancing measures.
“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 meters (4.9 feet),” Rothe told CNN.
Around the world, businesses are being tasked with finding ways to enforce social distancing as restrictions are lifted. Common practices include limiting the number of customers allowed inside businesses, relying on curbside/contactless pickup, or physically marking spots on the floor where people can stand and maintain a safe distance from other patrons.
Cafe Pool Noodle Hats — Sources
Facebook – Cafe & Konditorei Rothe
CNN: German cafe tells customers to wear pool noodles to enforce social distancing
Mirror: Cafe customers must wear pool noodle hats to make sure they socially distance