Bradford’s public health chief has welcomed a decision by Akbar’s restaurant on Leeds Road to close for a week as a precautionary measure after a small number of staff tested positive for COVID-19 during the month of August.

Over the past three weeks, seven staff have tested positive for the virus, with the latest reported on 20 August.

Akbar’s owners have decided the best way to protect staff and customers is to close temporarily so that all employees can self-isolate until there is no longer a chance that they will be contagious.

Owner Shabir Hussain said: “We could have sent a number of our staff home to self-isolate and stayed open using other employees but we felt this was the responsible thing to do to make sure we are 100 per cent safe going forward.

“It also gives us a chance to give our people a bit of a holiday because they have been so incredibly busy during the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ promotion.

“We apologise to all our customers who have made bookings but hopefully they will understand that we all have to make sacrifices if we are to get the COVID-19 virus under control and protect the most vulnerable in our district.”

Bradford’s Director of Public Health Sarah Muckle said: “The restaurant had good COVID-19 safety measures in place to protect customers and we agree with their decision.  We are extremely grateful to the Akbar’s team for the way they have worked with us on this and for the responsible, professional, proactive action they have taken.

“We have no reason to believe customers were at risk because the restaurant’s front of house COVID-19 safety measures are very robust.

“It’s never an easy decision to close a business but this kind of leadership is exactly what we will need if we are to get on top of small outbreaks and stop the virus spreading into our communities.”

Booking are still being taken for when Akbar’s re-opens for business on Friday 4 September.