A group of scientists has claimed that eating meals in silence can help to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at restaurants.
Researchers found that the virus can be passed to people more than 20ft away – and the risks increase if an infected person is speaking.
A study in the Journal of Korean Medical Science warns that people should refrain from conversation during meals, as well as “loud talking or shouting”. South Korean scientists said that dividing walls should be put up between tables to prevent germs spreading.
In one instance, they claim, one person was able to infect another customer who was more than 21ft away for five minutes. Saliva droplets were able to pass from one to the other, spreading the infection, researchers said.
Their conclusions were drawn after using credit card records, phone location data and CCTV to find out how easily Covid-19 can be spread in restaurants. Unventilated rooms pose a particularly high risk for passing on the infection, it is believed.
In the UK, it was claimed that the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme had contributed to a second wave of Cov
The PM told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “In so far as that scheme may have helped to spread the virus obviously we need to counteract that and we need to counteract that with the discipline and the measures that we’re proposing.
“But I hope you understand the balance we’re trying to strike.”