JKS Restaurants CEO Jyotin Sethi has added his voice to calls for the government to adopt one metre distancing, as per WHO guidance, opposed to the current two metre advice.

Sethi told MCA the difference would make a “huge difference” to the viability and survival of restaurants.

He said: “Whilst we will obviously do our best with whatever protocol is introduced, I firmly believe it should be 1m and not 2m, in line with WHO guidance, because this will make a huge difference to the viability and survival of many restaurants in the country.

“Most people who are out and about at the moment seem fine with even less than 1m, so why penalise us.

“For us in some cases this is the difference in being able to operate at 75% capacity v 35% capacity, which is huge!”

The comments comes as new WHO research finds that keeping one metre apart reduces the risk of catching coronavirus by 80%.

Scientists found people have a 2.6% chance of catching the virus if they stand one metre away from an infected patient, meaning the disease would spread to fewer than three out of 100 people.

The study found standing two metres apart was slightly more effective at preventing transmission, reducing the risk to around 1.3%.