Lithuania’s capital is turned into vast open air café to enable social distancing in restaurants 


Lithuania’s capital is turned into vast open air café to enable social distancing in restaurants

  • Vilnius has offered 18 locations for cafes and restaurants to lay extra tables at
  • The Cathedral Square is just one of the sites that 160 businesses have applied to 
  • The city gave health care workers £350,000 restaurant vouchers as a thank you 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The capital city of Lithuania, Vilnius, has confirmed it will transform into a massive open-air café to ease the burden lockdown has had on restaurants and cafés.

The plans which will see all open spaces in the city be handed to cafés and restaurants to use are the next stage in the country lifting its coronavirus lockdown.

Shops, hairdressers and beauty parlours, libraries, museums and cafés were given permission to reopen in Lithuania on Monday.

Lithuania has 1,344 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 44 deaths but the open air café concept has been designed to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

The capital city of Lithuania, Vilnius, has confirmed it will transform into a massive open-air café to ease the burden lockdown has had on restaurants and cafes

John Hopkins University data shows Lithuania has 1,344 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 44 deaths

John Hopkins University data shows Lithuania has 1,344 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 44 deaths

Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius said the measures have been introduced to save the city’s economy.

He said: ‘Plazas, squares, streets – nearby cafes will be allowed to set up outdoor tables free of charge this season and thus conduct their activities during quarantine.’

The mayor added that public safety remained the city’s top priority but the scheme should help cafes to ‘open up, work, retain jobs and keep Vilnius alive.’

160 businesses have applied to the city’s offer but they must enforce strict rules if they are selected.

There must be a limited number of customers at any one time, masks have to be worn in public places and tables need to be placed at least two metres apart.

Lithuania started lifting their lockdown by allowing small businesses to reopen. They must limit the number of customers at any one time, masks have to be worn in public places and tables need to be placed at least two metres apart

Lithuania started lifting their lockdown by allowing small businesses to reopen. They must limit the number of customers at any one time, masks have to be worn in public places and tables need to be placed at least two metres apart

Public health workers in Vilnius were given £350,000 of restaurant vouchers by the city to thank them for their work and to help keep cafes afloat. Pictured: A market in Vilnius after Lithuania allowed small businesses to reopen

Public health workers in Vilnius were given £350,000 of restaurant vouchers by the city to thank them for their work and to help keep cafes afloat. Pictured: A market in Vilnius after Lithuania allowed small businesses to reopen

Most of the city’s restaurants are found in the Unesco-listed old town area of Senamiestis which has narrow streets where the minimum table distance would have been impossible to maintain.

Evalda Šiškauskienė of the Lithuanian Association of Hotels and Restaurants said the measures came just in time and that they would allow businesses to ‘accommodate more visitors and bring life back to the city streets, but without violating security requirements.’

18 locations have been earmarked by the city such as its Cathedral Square and more are expected to be added to the list during the summer.

Public health workers in Vilnius were given £350,000 of restaurant vouchers by the city to thank them for their work and to help keep cafés afloat.

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