This is how cafes, restaurants and bars around the world are keeping customers safe as they reopen

Monday, 18th May 2020, 8:32 am
Updated Monday, 18th May 2020, 8:32 am

As countries around the world begin to cautiously relax coronavirus restrictions, businesses are getting creative with social distancing.

Under normal circumstances, bars, restaurants and cafes can present an opportunity for crowds of people to transmit the virus between them.

That's why most countries are now encouraging - or making mandatory - social distancing policies in these establishments.

While some have gone with traditional floor markings and spacing out seating, here are some of the more unusual ways that bars, restaurants and cafes are keeping customers safe around the world.

Using mannequins to keep lone diners company

One restaurant in Virginia, USA, has decided to keep their socially-distanced diners from getting too lonely by placing dressed up mannequins in seats around the restaurant.

The restaurant is currently operating at 50 per cent capacity to accommodate social distancing.

Patrick O'Connell, Head Chef at the restaurant, told local news station Fox 5 DC, "When we needed to solve the problem of social distancing and reducing our restaurant’s occupancy by half, the solution seemed obvious – fill it with interestingly dressed dummies".

Pool noodle hats

An entertaining picture circulated the internet last week of patrons at a German cafe wearing pool noodles - usually used to aid swimming lessons - on their heads.

The cafe,  Cafe & Konditorei Rothe in Schwerin, is using the pool noodle hats to encourage customers to maintain a two metre distance while eating and drinking outdoors - with rather entertaining results.

Quarantine greenhouses

One Amsterdam restaurant went a step further, by building mini greenhouses outside the restaurant for diners to sit in while they eat.

The pods at the restaurant - Mediamatic ETEN - allow up to three diners to sit together while separated from others eating at the restaurant. Currently, the restaurant is recommending that people dining together should all be members of the same household.

Stuffed pandas to separate diners

Instead of dining beside mannequins, Maison Saigon (a restaurant in Bangkok) has seated stuffed pandas next to socially-distanced diners in an attempt to curb loneliness - and add a touch of cuteness to every meal.

Getting robots to pull pints

La Gitana Loca bar in Seville, Spain, has a clever solution to the problem of close contact between customers and staff - using robots to pull pints.

The device is reportedly able to pull around 600 pints in an hour, making it an efficient solution, as well as a safer one.

Taking everything outside

The Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, is set to open up squares and streets to allow cafes and restaurants to spill seating outdoors, letting members of the public socially distance while eating and drinking.