Because people are eager to get out and about now that they’ve been locked indoors for about two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, it is not yet quite safe for people to venture into public settings. That’s why one café has decided to make it easier for diners to come to their establishment and enjoy a cup of coffee while seated on the sidewalk by using a bizarre tool to make their idea work.

The Café Rothe in Schwerin has decided to celebrate its grand reopening by asking customers to wear hats with pool noodles attached to them to aid in social distancing. People the pool noodles alert customers to when they get too close to one another. The strategy ensures customers can come and dine without mixing around too many germs.

The café’s motto is “keep the social distance” because they want to give people a place to enjoy, but want them to be able to do it safely and within the regulations of the city. Their invention – straw hats with pool noodles attached to the tops – allows for customers to sit at their small tables and enjoy a cup of coffee or a sandwich without getting too close to other people at the establishment.

Owner Jaqueline Rother came up with the idea and even shared her invention to social media by sharing a snap of her customers enjoying the new seating arrangement on the sidewalk. Because she wants to keep her business open, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

“Today it’s like this: distance measurement,” she wrote on the Facebook post.

Although Rothe’s invention is not quite good enough to help customers measure the recommended six-feet distance between themselves and others, it does help people remember that they need to be safe and do the right thing during the pandemic.

Customers were so happy to get back to some semblance of normalcy that they did not hesitate to put on the pool noodle hats. Rothe told CNN that customers did not care at all and were willing to pay the price of foolishness to get a hot cup of coffee made by someone besides themselves – or their spouse. Other people indulged in beer or cake while sitting out in the sun on a beautiful day.

“This was the perfect method to keep customers apart — and a fun one,” the 52-year-old café owner 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 1.5 meters (4.9 feet).”

Rothe was surprised that her invention became such a big hit on social media. Her shop needs the business. It can usually fit 36 tables inside and 20 outside. But new rules allow for much less.

“But with the new hygiene and social distancing measures, we only have 12 tables inside and only eight outside,” she said.

What do you think about this effort? Would you partake?

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