Toy bears brought in to enforce social distancing at Balham restaurant

Cuddly toy bears sit in seats at Tagine in Balham to enforce social distancing at the restaurant
Cuddly toy bears sit in seats at Tagine in Balham to enforce social distancing at the restaurant
14:01pm, Sat 01 Aug 2020
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A restaurant in Balham 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 4 after closing for months during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuddly toy bears sit in seats at Tagine in Balham to enforce social distancing at the restaurant

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.

Cuddly toy bears sit in seats at Tagine in Balham to enforce social distancing at the restaurant

“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.”

Cuddly toy bears sit in seats at Tagine in Balham to enforce social distancing at the restaurant
Cuddly toy bears sit in seats at Tagine in Balham to enforce social distancing at the restaurant
Cuddly toy bears sit in seats at Tagine in Balham to enforce social distancing at the restaurant

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.”

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