A cafe in Japan is using plush capybaras, a giant rodent native to South America, to enforce social distancing in its seating area, the Independent reported.
The stuffed animals are seated strategically in the cafe, which is apart of Izu Shaboten Zoo in Shizuoka, forcing diners to sit further apart.
One Twitter user posted a picture of the capybaras sitting on a table in the cafe, and wrote, "Why capybaras, you ask? Well this zoo is credited with being the first (in 1982) to introduce the animals to hot baths and ever since then it’s become a thing.” He also posted a link to buy the plush capybara online.
While the majority of the plush animals in the cafe are capybaras, other animals such as giraffes, tigers and what looks to be red pandas are also seated in the cafe.
Izu Shaboten Zoo isn't the only place using stuffed animals to enforce social distancing, Maison Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, is seating customers with stuffed toy pandas to stop them feeling lonely while eating under social distancing restrictions, the Independant reported.
The cafe's owner Natthwut Rodchanapanthkul, concerned that social distancing would make diners feel lonely, came up with the stuffed toy initiative to bring some normalcy to the restaurant as coronavirus restrictions in the country are eased.
While these cafes have found cuter ways of enforcing social distancing amid easing of coronavirus regulations, other restaurants have found stranger ways of doing so.
Cafe Rothe in Schwerin, a town in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's home state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, has forced customers to wear hats with two pool noodles in the shape of an "X" attached, according to reports from CNN and the Independent.
Meanwhile, at the at Little Washington in Virginia, a three-Michelin-star establishment, has decided to dress up mannequins in 1940's garb and place them throughout the dining area ahead of their reopening on May 29.
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