With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the entire world has come to a standstill. However, in a few pockets around they are slowly returning to their usual routine. The tourism and hospitality industries are the ones that have taken a huge hit from this and not to forget the daily wagers, who earn very little to no money as they do not have jobs.

Amidst all this, it is always nice to see some innovative ways through which people and the government help in ensuring they take a step – however small – in the right direction in order to ensure normalcy returns.

Lithuania—be a small country bordering Poland, Belarus and Latvia—have started a system wherein the restaurants can now have tables and chairs placed outside their shops to cater to the customers, like open-air cafes, while maintaining strict social distancing norms, as advised by their government. The norms include: People have to wear masks all the time and the tables are to be placed at least two metres away from each other. This is currently only restricted to its capital city of Vilnius. 

The beautiful city of Vilnius © Diliff/Wikimedia Commons

The cafes will be allowed to put out outdoor tables free of charge and conduct their business during this quarantine period. A total of 18 places have been allowed to conduct business like this and there is a high chance that there might be more joining in. Local sightseeing destinations like the iconic Cathedral Square will also house food and beverage establishments albeit on a temporary basis.

By doing so, Lithuania, who has so far reported close to 1,500 positive cases with 45 deaths due to the pandemic virus, began a part of its lockdown exit this week. Not just cafes and restaurants, but the country reportedly has allowed all kinds of shops to run outdoors.

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This move is expected to bring more people to the city and we could see Lithuania slowly get back on its feet and could very well be an example to other countries.