The shields, called Plex'Eat, are already in production.

By Andrea Romano
May 26, 2020
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Christophe Gernigon Studio

Going out to restaurants and bars will be normal again, but what will the new normal actually look like?

After the outbreak of coronavirus led to the closing of bars and restaurants around the world, many people are anxious to finally get to go out again. But just because the restaurants are open doesn’t mean the virus is gone — so many restaurants will have to find strategies for keeping people safe in the case of a future outbreak.

According to House Beautiful, Paris-based designer Christophe Gernigon has a potential solution: a very stylish shield that hangs directly over a person’s chair. Sitour, an industrial equipment supplier in France, is already putting these shields into production, House Beautiful reported.

Gernigon’s design, the Plex'Eat, is a plexiglass shield that is designed to go over restaurant-goers’ heads and is hung from the ceiling, according to House Beautiful.  The shield has an opening in the back so diners can get up and sit down easily and works sort of like a visor or face shield, allowing diners’ hands to reach below the shield so they can eat their food normally. While it may seem a little bit like science fiction, the shield is meant to reduce germs and droplets transferred when people are in a small space together.

Christophe Gernigon Studio
Christophe Gernigon Studio

“I imagined, during the nocturnal creative wanderings of these months of confinement, a new way of welcoming customers of bars and restaurants in search of outings,” Gernigon wrote on his website.

Other ideas for keeping diners safe include reducing capacity so people can socially distance themselves, but this unique shield may be elegant enough to work, depending on the establishment. Not to mention, some diners may actually be attracted to a restaurant that uses such a novel idea for seating.

More information about the Plex'Eat, as well as other projects, can be found on Christophe Gernigon’s website and Instagram.