This takes the dining experience to a whole new level. The JAG Hotel in St. John's is getting creative when it comes to ensuring physical distancing at its restaurant. Now people will be dining next to mannequins.

Located in downtown St. John's, this boutique hotel is finally allowed to let people back into Exile, its in-house restaurant, again.

People won't be the only guests though.

Mannequins have been placed around the restaurant to make sure that physical distancing guidelines are followed.

Hotel owner John Steele of Steele Hotels told the CBC that he was inspired by spots in America and Europe doing the same thing when they reopened.

"There's no new ideas, you just steal them," he said.

At tables that are near to each other, mannequins sit at every other one so that people don't get too close.

Even with the slight change in the dining experience, it's still a happy time.

"I really look forward to seeing people moving around and getting back to some sense of normalcy again," Steele said.

To make the mannequins fit in with the restaurant's atmosphere, local clothing designer Mandy Lee Dawe was enlisted to dress them.

"First when it was mentioned to me, it reminded me so much of Kevin McCallister in Home Alone," she told the CBC.

Exile reopened in-person dining on June 8 when Newfoundland & Labrador moved into its next phase of recovery.

At the province's new Alert Level, buffets are not allowed, capacity has to be reduced and tables need to be set up at least two metres apart.

For tables that can't be moved, it is suggested that every second table be closed.

That's where the mannequins come in.

When Newfoundland & Labrador moves on to Alert Level 2, which is just one step away from the new normal, even more restrictions will be lifted.

The size of public gatherings will increase, recreational spaces like gyms and pools can reopen and bars can let people in again.

As of June 8, there hasn't been a new case of COVID-19 confirmed in the province since May 28.

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