Prague cafe employees set up slot car races throughout bar emptied by COVID-19

Czech officials ban indoor dining as country sees surge in cases

As scientists around the world race to create a COVID-19 vaccine, the staff at one café in Prague have taken up a different kind of race.

Mlynska café set up an electric slot car track on its bar as the restaurant remains closed to indoor dining, Reuters reported.

Staff at the café, which is popular with the local arts community, are still working to prepare takeout orders, according to the report, but now they have something to keep them occupied in between orders. They decided to set up the track after one worker found it in storage at home.

A bartender plays with an electric car track inside a cafe bar, as the Czech government shut all restaurants for two weeks to slow down the spread of COVID-19, in Prague, Czech Republic. (REUTERS/David W Cerny)

A bartender plays with an electric car track inside a cafe bar, as the Czech government shut all restaurants for two weeks to slow down the spread of COVID-19, in Prague, Czech Republic. (REUTERS/David W Cerny)

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The race track twists between beer taps, banks past a stack of wine glasses on the bar and even includes a loop-de-loop between two tables.

“It was a sudden idea,” Jan Sramek, the bar manager, told Reuters. “We said if we can’t use the space as we used to … we’d have the kind of fun here we can’t have when we have guests.”

The Czech government shut all restaurants for two weeks to slow down the spread of the coronavirus disease. (REUTERS/David W Cerny)

The Czech government shut all restaurants for two weeks to slow down the spread of the coronavirus disease. (REUTERS/David W Cerny)

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The Czech Republic has seen a dramatic increase in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past two months and was experiencing the fastest per capita rise in coronavirus infections and deaths as of last week.

On Oct. 14, Czech officials banned gatherings of more than six people and barred diners from going inside restaurants and bars in an effort to curb COVID-19’s spread.

A bartender prepares a drink after turning a bar area into an electric car track. (REUTERS/David W Cerny)

A bartender prepares a drink after turning a bar area into an electric car track. (REUTERS/David W Cerny)

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On Sunday, an estimated 2,000 protestors rallied against the restrictions and tussled with riot police in Prague, The Guardian reported.

The virus has infected more than 188,000 people in the Czech Republic and killed 1,600 there, according to Johns Hopkins University.