The Real Reason These Diners Are Wearing Pool Noodle Hats

Recently, some cities and countries have been able to begin easing off stay-at-home orders put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, which means that more businesses, including some restaurants, are starting to welcome customers back. According to U.K. news outlet Metro, one cafe in Germany has chosen a more creative way to enforce social distancing regulations with its patrons than the standard floor markings and screens other restaurants and businesses have chosen to use to assist customers in following the sometimes confusing rules. 

Uupon reopening this week, Cafe & Konditorei Rothe in Schwerin, Germany began requiring anyone who wants to dine at the establishment to wear a straw hat with pool noodle floating toys attached to the top. Insider reports that Germany was one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus in Europe, although they note that they had surprisingly few deaths compared to the number of cases reported. German Chancellor Angela Merkel assured citizens that while they were slowly reopening, the government would be keeping a close eye on infection rates in the coming weeks.

These goofy social distance hats are working

The wacky headwear is intended to give the cafe's patrons a very clear way to know if they are too close to one another, and it appears to be working. The Hill shared a photo posted by Cafe & Konditorei Rothe to the cafe's Facebook page, featuring customers wearing the silly looking hats while sitting at tables on the sidewalk. The brightly colored pool toys affixed to the top were sticking straight out in three directions to help avoid unintentional run-ins on all sides. 

In a statement reported by the New York Post, Jacqueline Roth, the owner of Cafe & Konditorei Roth, said it has been "a pleasure to make others smile" during these strange and weary times. The outlet asserts that most commercial spaces under 8,600 square feet in Germany have been allowed to reopen as part of the easing of shutdown restrictions the country has been rolling back since April of 2020.