“Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius, has announced plans to turn the city into a vast open-air cafe by giving over much of its public space to hard-hit bar and restaurant owners so they can put their tables outdoors and still observe physical distancing rules,” writes Jon Henley for The Guardian.
Like many other countries worldwide who have suffered the tragic consequences of the coronavirus, Lithuania is now focussing on how to halt the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. During the quarantine 30 percent of the Lithuanian population lost their jobs. Among the hardest hit businesses were restaurants and bars.
With the gradual lifting of the lockdown in this Baltic state, social distancing rules remain in place — a strict minimum of six feet between tables. That’s a problem for establishments in the older parts of the capital Vilnius, where cobbled streets are narrow and don’t allow enough space to conform with these rules.
In a popular move the city announced that restaurant and cafe owners will be allowed to use the city’s public spaces free of charge. Initially 18 public spaces will be opened for use – including Cathedral Square – but more are expected to follow. By early May 160 restaurant and bar owners had already applied.
Lithuania has shown us yet another innovative solution to the economic havoc that the virus has left behind. With summer coming, it’s a simple way to help get restaurants and cafes back on their feet, people back to work and life back into the city’s streets.
Read the original article here.
Image from pxfuel, CC BY 1.0 Public Domain