Europe

German restaurant packed with stuffed pandas in coronavirus protest

A restaurant owner in Germany has been using stuffed toy panda bears as a form of silent protest against the coronavirus lockdown.

Restaurant owner Giuseppe Fichera acknowledged the idea was “crazy,” but after a friend had suggested it, he decided to give it a go.

“It was a crackpot idea. A good friend gave me the idea, she said the restaurant looks so sad, so dark, so empty,” he said.

So he filled his premises with the black and white furry guests, all dressed for an evening out.

Fichera mentioned that he is hopeful that the German government will provide financial help, but is not confident it will completely cover his costs.

The country’s disease control center said Friday that Germany’s 16 states reported 22,806 cases overnight for a national total of 1,006,394 since the start of the pandemic.

However, Germany has reported fewer virus-related deaths than many other European countries: 15,586 compared with more than 50,000 in Britain, Italy and France.

The country is almost a month in to a so-called “wave-breaker” shutdown instituted on November 2 after daily cases rose to new record highs.

Officials say the new measures have succeeded in halting the surge.

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