TORONTO -- As Germany loosens its COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and restaurants begin opening their doors to customers again, one cafe came up with a light-hearted way to ensure their patrons remain a safe distance from each other.

Cafe Rothe, located in the city of Schwerin, handed out hats with pool noodles affixed to them so their customers wouldn’t be able to get too close to each other while they sipped their coffees on the patio.

In a photo posted on the business’ Facebook page last week, customers can be seen sitting at tables on a sunny patio with the colourful pool noodles sticking out atop their heads.

Cafe owner Jaqueline Rothe told CNN that German TV company RTL came up with the idea for the hats as a joke.

Germany has been easing restrictions since late April, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel announcing a broader relaxation of measures last week. While some physical distancing measures are still in place, most commercial retail spaces under 798 square metres have been allowed to reopen.