Chinese students wear metre-long hats to keep social distancing

Students wear metre long hats to their first day back at school
Students wear metre long hats to their first day back at school Photo credit: New York Times

Chinese students are getting creative in keeping to social distancing requirements, with one school making their children wear metre-long hats.

China Global TV Network (CGTN) shared photos of the pupils on their first day back at school on April 26 after spending months at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Teachers at an elementary school in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, assigned a special DIY project to students, asking them to make "one-meter hats" with their parents at home and wear them on the first day of school as a new way of enforcing COVID-19 social distancing," CGTN wrote.

The students can be seen wearing their creations, which are made out of cardboard and balloons used to create balloon animals.

The Sun reported the school's vice-principal Hong Feng asked the students to wear the hats to keep three feet away from other students and limit the spread of COVID-19. 

"This was our own creative idea," Hong Feng told local media.

"It helps us promote our slogan: 'Wear a one-metre hat, keep a one-metre distance.'"

Reports say the students also have to wear face masks for protection and receive regular temperature checks throughout the school day.

Some Twitter users have pointed out that the hats are similar to ones used in the Chinese Song dynasty which ruled China between 960 and 1279.

Tsui Lik-hang, a historian at City University of Hong Kong, told the South China Morning Post the idea could be traced back to the first Song emperor who ordered his ministers to wear hats with two long wings on the sides so that they could not talk in court assemblies without being overheard.