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Lifestyle

Buy 'ice cream vouchers, not toilet paper' to tide over coronavirus

An information sheet for neighborhood help that reads "Coupons instead of toilet paper" is displayed in the front window of the ice cream shop "Rosa Canina" during the spread the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin, Germany, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German artisanal ice cream parlor is asking customers to buy coupons, instead of hoarding toilet paper, to help keep it afloat as the government shut most businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rosa Canina, an organic ice cream maker whose three Berlin stores were shut on Monday, said in notices on its windows that it hoped loyal customers would buy vouchers online to help it bridge the next few weeks. The business has been described as “a culinary Shangri-La for ice cream gourmets” by the Top 10 Berlin website.

“Somehow we will get through this. You buy the ice cream now and then you can eat it in two months,” said co-counder Julia Philipps.

She urged customers to do whatever they could to support their favourite restaurants, and hoped other local businesses would join in selling coupons as well.

Germany is suffering a major economic hit from the coronavirus crisis, with schools shut, more than 6,000 people known to be infected and 13 dead, and a rapid rise in case numbers.

The federal government has loosened insolvency rules that risked forcing companies into declaring bankruptcy while they waited for state aid to arrive.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Richard Chang

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