21:51 GMT26 May 2020
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    Countries Ease Lockdown Measures While COVID-19 Cases Surpass 4 Mln Worldwide (138)
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    The owners of Cafe Rothe in Schwerin, a town in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s home state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, were allowed to reopen their doors to visitors after coronavirus restrictions lifted - their new motto, "keep the social distance”, made clear things weren’t quite back to normal yet.

    A cafe in Germany has celebrated its grand post-lockdown opening by handing out pool noodles to customers so they can maintain social distancing.

    Rather than using floor markings and perspex screens to keep people safely apart, the cafe distributed straw hats affixed with two colourful swimming noodles attached to the top.

    Cafe Rothe told US media numerous happy customers flocked to the cafe to enjoy a coffee, cake or a beer in the sunshine.

    "This was the perfect method to keep customers apart - and a fun one. 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)," said Rothe, who also expressed surprise at the attention her photo garnered in news outlets around the world.

    The cafe and confectionery shop usually has 36 tables inside and 20 outside in warmer weather, but with the new hygiene and social distancing measures there are only 12 tables inside and eight outside. During shutdown the cafe remained open but wasn’t able to serve customers inside.

    Germany lifted some coronavirus restrictions after Merkel said the country was out of phase one of the pandemic - however, the country has suffered a surge in infections after the relaxation, prompting officials to publicly caution Germans to continue adhering to physical distancing measures.

    Germany has recorded over 174,400 cases of coronavirus and 7,884 deaths, according to the latest figures.

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    Countries Ease Lockdown Measures While COVID-19 Cases Surpass 4 Mln Worldwide (138)

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