Toy bears enforce social distancing at London restaurant

A restaurant in Balham, London has engaged the services of 12 large toy bears to help enforce social distancing measures for diners.

Tagine, which serves north African cuisine in south London, reopened on July 4th after closing for months during the coronavirus pandemic.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Zizou Hammoudi)</figcaption>
(Zizou Hammoudi)

And to keep post-lockdown customers apart from one another, as well as to relax the diners, owner Zizou Hammoudi, 50, has seated a dozen ursine toys since he returned to business.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Zizou Hammoudi)</figcaption>
(Zizou Hammoudi)

“Let’s say there is a table where people cannot sit, I put the teddy bears there with a Moroccan hat as well,” Mr Hammoudi told the PA news agency.

“A lot of people that are coming in (ask) ‘can I have a table next to the teddy bears?’ People (are) stopping, taking pictures, it’s been great.”

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Zizou Hammoudi)</figcaption>
(Zizou Hammoudi)

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Zizou Hammoudi)</figcaption>
(Zizou Hammoudi)

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Zizou Hammoudi)</figcaption>
(Zizou Hammoudi)

Mr Hammoudi bought the 12 bears online before adding the hats himself, and said the bears are even encouraging children to talk about the pandemic.

“Kids, six, seven years old, they are telling each other that it is for distancing,” he said.

“Even the kids, they know about it. I’m so happy.”