A restaurant in south London has engaged the services of 12 large toy bears to help enforce social distancing measures for diners.

Moroccan eatery Tagine, which serves north African cuisine in Balham, reopened on July 4 after closing for months during the coronavirus pandemic.

To make sure customers keep apart and abide by post-lockdown rules, owner Zizou Hammoudi, 50, has seated cuddly toys in key locations within his venue.

“Let’s say there is a table where people cannot sit, I put the teddy bears there with a Moroccan hat as well,” Mr Hammoudi said.

“A lot of people that are coming in (ask) ‘can I have a table next to the teddy bears?’ People (are) stopping, taking pictures, it’s been great.”

The owner bought the bears from the internet (Google Maps)

Mr Hammoudi bought the 12 bears online before adding the hats himself, and said the bears are even encouraging children to talk about the pandemic.

“Kids, six, seven years old, they are telling each other that it is for distancing,” he said.

“Even the kids, they know about it. I’m so happy.”

It is not the first time cuddly toy bears have been used to enforce social distancing at restaurants, with business owners previously employing similar tactics in Paris and Mexico City.