An Italian design firm has created transparent cubicles that it claims will allow people to enjoy the beach this summer, while maintaining social distancing. Samuel Ballard reports

The company behind the idea, Nuova Neon Group, has released images of the 4.5 metre square cubicles, which are two metres high. They have enough room for two sun loungers, a parasol and for children to play. But will anyone be happy being confined to them? Globetrender suspects not.

The company’s owner, Claudio Ferrari, told La Repubblica that he has also received interest for the plexiglass boxes from restaurants looking for a dining solution to keeping members of the public safe from coronavirus.

“We tried to imagine the return to the beach. The idea was born with the dual purpose of protecting, but also of restarting the activities,” he said.NUOVA NEON GROUP beach cubicles“In short, guaranteeing safety but starting to circulate people again. We are already working to create screens for banks, pharmacies and so we have thought of extending the work to commercial activities”.

The move comes as European leaders expressed optimism that restrictions could be lifted if “smart solutions” were found.NUOVA NEON GROUP beach cubiclesUrsula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said: “I think we are going to find smart solutions for having a summer vacation. Maybe a little different, with other hygiene measures, with a little more social distance, but it is impressive to see that we have found solutions.

“It is difficult to predict what the next months will be like but what I see is that we are beginning to learn to live with the virus.”NUOVA NEON GROUP beach cubiclesMany European countries are reliant on tourism and are looking at easing restrictions to try and benefit from at least some of the summer season. Greece is aiming to open up to international tourists from July 1 while Italy will start to open to tourists from June 3.

According to Forbes, the Greek government has said: “Shade umbrellas must be planted at least four meters apart, a maximum of 40 beachgoers are allowed per 1,000 sqm of beach, kiosks are not to play music, bars are prohibited from serving alcohol, water sports and other recreational activities on the beaches have been banned, municipal workers and police are deployed to spot offenders. Sun-seekers caught violating social distancing rules are subject to fines of about US$1,100.”NUOVA NEON GROUP beach cubiclesThe aviation industry is also looking at how it will maintain social distancing when lockdown measures start to ease. Aviointeriors, an Italian airline interior designer, released images of a forward-backward seat configuration called Janus. Like Nuova Neon Group 2, the design also incorporates a transparent barrier.

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