Public toilets in Beijing could be closed if they are found to contain more than two flies in a stall.

The two-fly rule has been imposed by the Chinese authorities to try to improve the capital’s notoriously unpleasant public lavatories.

Under a public toilet management directive issued yesterday, standards have also been set for smells and the regular emptying of litter bins.

Online critics mocked the directive, asking whether health inspectors would visit the toilets to count the number of flies per stall.

An official from Beijing’s Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment said the guideline on fly numbers was meant as a way of monitoring cleanliness.

Xie Guomin said: “We will not actually count fly numbers. The regulation is specific, but the inspection methodology will be flexible.” - Daily Mail