Larger droplets are likely to fall to the ground after about 6ft of travel, which is where the social distancing measure comes from.
Dr Pottinger also challenged Professor Bourouiba’s claims, saying considerably more people would contract COVID-19 if the virus could travel further.
He said: “It takes a certain number of viral particles, we call them ‘virions,’ or individual viruses, it takes a certain number of individual viruses to actually get a foothold inside the body and cause that infection to get going.
“Now, we don’t know exactly what that number is, but it’s probably more than a single virus.
“If you think about it, if this really travelled very efficiently by air, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.