The UK's first purpose-built socially distanced restaurant has opened.

Up to 96 guests at the St Moritz Hotel & Spa near Rock in Cornwall will be seated in 16 private dining rooms.

Staff at the restaurant wear face masks throughout their shift to protect against the spread of the virus. Credit: PA Images

Staff wearing face masks serve food through service hatches in each room.

This ensures diners remain in their family "bubble" and are separated from other guests and staff.

Hugh Ridgway, the owner of the St Moritz Hotel, said the restaurant would only have been able to operate at 30% occupancy with the two-metre rule in place so, he decided to build the socially distanced pop-up venue.

Diners will be allocated a pod so they can eat within their 'family bubbles'. Credit: PA Images

"People have been waiting and waiting to stay in hotels and now our phones are very busy, our online bookings are very busy," he said.

"We are very lucky here in St Moritz that our architecture means all of our hotel rooms can be occupied in a safe and socially distanced manner."

The only problem is that we need to feed our guests. We can't do that if we are restricting our restaurant to 30% or 60% - if at one-metre distance -occupancy. That's why we came up with the idea of socially distanced dining and built this marquee with 16 individual dining rooms.

Hugh Ridgway, owner of the St Moritz Hotel

Food is delivered to diners through a hatch in order to maintain social distancing. Credit: PA Images

Guests can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in the private dining rooms - with reservation times staggered so they do not have to walk past others or wait when they arrive.

The hotel is also serving meals in striped beach huts, with food delivered to tables before guests get there.