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Dining shields, social distancing
Photograph: Christophe Gernigon Studio

You could be dining under one of these suspended shields when restaurants reopen

A French designer has come up with these clever suspended visors for socially-distanced dining out

By
Ellie Walker-Arnott
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Around the world, lockdown restrictions are easing and businesses are tentatively reopening. But just because restaurants are serving again doesn’t necessarily mean we’re about to return to normal. In fact, with social distancing measures remaining in place for a while yet, dining out is going to look a little different for the foreseeable. 

Eating out in a post-rona world might mean dining is reservation only, to allow businesses to manage the number of people inside at any one time. It could mean we’ll all be eating alfresco, no matter what the weather’s like. And it could mean any number of new and creative measures being bought in to help keep diners more than two metres apart at all times. 

PLEX’EAT
Photograph: Christophe Gernigon Studio

We’ve already seen a few examples of these measures, like the German café where visitors wore pool noodles on their heads, or the restaurant in America where diners are wearing ‘bumper tables’ to stay distant. But, thankfully, more stylish options are now beginning to appear, like this concept, named PLEX'EAT, which would see diners sat inside their own private, suspended visors around a dining table. 

 PLEX’EAT
Photograph: Christophe Gernigon Studio

French designer Christophe Gernigon came up with the alternative and much more aesthetically pleasing solution for social distancing, which looks a bit like a shiny, transparent lampshade. 

‘Though we would have preferred not to arrive at this point, it is now better to imagine alternative, designed, elegant and aesthetic solutions that will guarantee social distancing regulations,’ he says, adding that his concept ‘lets each person dine or have a drink in total security.’

There’s also a design for a pair of diners who don’t need to social distance – perhaps they are part of the same household. 

PLEX’EAT
Photograph: Christophe Gernigon Studio

You know that feeling when you’re so engrossed in someone’s company it’s like you’re in a bubble? It’s that, but IRL. 

What will a meal out really be like? Here are 10 ideas

How about going to the theatre? This stripped-back theatre in Berlin will give you some idea.  

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