Drive-in cinemas, raves and dining behind 'quarantine greenhouses'

Drive-in cinemas, raves and dining behind 'quarantine greenhouses'

Quarantine greenhouses
People dine at a restaurant in safe 'quarantine greenhouses' in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (REUTERS/Eva Plevier)

LONDON: With lockdown measures more relaxed, social lives are slowly becoming possible. Restaurants, bars, gigs and museums beckon. But as we take our first cautious steps back into the wider world, we are finding it transformed.

Gone are restaurants so busy that you have to wait for service or the check. Now, in the coronavirus-era, social distancing has made eating out a very different experience.

At Da Enzo's in Rome, waiters no longer hand out menus, but hold up a scan code. Customers point their smart phones at it and a menu pops up on screen with the day's specialties.

A waiter holds a placard showing a barcode that customers scan on their phones
A waiter holds a placard showing a barcode that customers scan on their phones to view the restaurant menu in Rome, Italy, May 20, 2020. (File photo: Reuters/Guglielmo Mangiapane)

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Dining companions - from the same household, please - might eat around a candle-lit table inside a glass booth on the banks of an Amsterdam canal, a concept being tried out by the ETEN restaurant.

If that doesn't appeal, diners can try eating with a see-through lampshade on their heads, created by French designer Christophe Gernigon for restaurant owners who want to protect customers from COVID-19.

A woman poses under a Plex'Eat prototype plexiglas bubble
A woman poses under a Plex'Eat prototype plexiglas bubble which surrounds diners to protect them from the coronavirus in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, near Paris, May 20, 2020. (File photo: Reuters/Benoit Tessier)

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Other designs on the market resemble visitor booths in prisons, Gernigon said, prompting him to create a cylinder of transparent plastic that hangs from the ceiling, much like a lampshade.

"I wanted to make it more glamorous, more pretty," he said.

Want to catch a movie after dinner but your local cinema is closed under lockdown rules? Drive-in cinemas are seeing a revival, popping up in Lithuania, Dubai and the United States.

Cars are seen at a provisional drive-in cinema in Dortmund, Germany
Cars are seen at a provisional drive-in cinema in Dortmund, Germany, Apr 17, 2020. (File photo: Reuters/Leo Kuegeler)

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On the Cote d'Azur, in Cannes, you can drive to Palm Beach and watch films from the comfort of your own car.

If clubbing is your thing, Germans got the party started with a drive-in rave. In the car park of Club Index in the town of Schüttorf near the Dutch border, clubbers - limited to two per car - parked in rows in front of a DJ and hopped around to the beats while respecting government-imposed social distancing measures.

Lasers, glowsticks, confetti and a whole lot of horn honking set the mood as people celebrated their new-found freedom.

"The night had quite a party vibe here. It was perhaps even better than a normal club night would be," said organiser Holger Boesch, who runs Club Index.

An audience member enjoys a drive-in concert
An audience member enjoys a drive-in concert organised to allow people experience live music while observing COVID-19 restrictions in Sydney, Australia, May 21, 2020. (File photo: Reuters/Lore Elliott)

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And forget lockdown beards and daytime pyjamas - soon there will be no more excuses for the Robinson Crusoe quarantine look.

Designers from Lebanon to China to Nigeria are creating extraordinary face masks and protective clothing, and in South Korea, YouTubers are giving tutorials to maximise the make-up and mask look.

In Lagos, designer Sefiya Diejomaoh believes a global pandemic should not get in the way of style. Gold-coloured and studded with sparkling diamante jewels, her face mask matches her floor-length dress.

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Source: Reuters

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