Limiting our social interaction really limits the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). That’s the message from Bradford District’s Director of Public Health Sarah Muckle after the Prime Minister yesterday took the drastic action of directing the closure of pubs, clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres.

Boris Johnson had previously only advised the public to avoid such social venues with large gatherings but warning that without drastic action cases of coronavirus “could double every 4-5 days”.

Sarah Muckle said: “Today the message from the Prime Minister was very clear; some people may be tempted to go out and continue with their plans but if you do get COVID 19 there is no guarantee that you will get mild symptoms.

“We know that people can still be carriers of the virus and not have symptoms, so severely limiting interactions with others is the only way we can protect ourselves, our families, our NHS and save lives.

“COVID-19 is a new virus and we are learning more about it every day, especially from how it has affected people in other countries. We know that it affects older people and people who already have health conditions most severely but that is no guarantee that the rest of us will not be affected.

“Today’s action is necessary because it is proven that limiting our social interaction really works to limit the spread of the virus.

“Anyone who is not already self-isolating should be practising social distancing.”

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people to avoid the transmission of the virus.

They are:

  1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  3. Work from home, where possible.
  4. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs, venues
  5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  6. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential servicesSarah Muckle added: “We strongly advise people to follow social distancing advice as much as they can but even more important is to significantly limit face-to-face interaction with friends and family.

    “At this time it is really important that we all do as much as we can to limit our social interaction to only essential tasks such as buying food or attending medical appointments. This will mean cancelling or postponing social or family gatherings and taking all the steps we can to prevent and stop the spread of COVID 19.

    “However hard this feels, for the time being, it has to include celebration events such as parties, weddings, christenings; suspending worship in mosques and churches; conferences; and training and corporate events.

    “The Council and other public services are working hard to ensure people receive essential services, stay safe and get the care they need when they need it but every individual, every family and every business or service needs to do their bit to get us through these challenging times as quickly and smoothly as possible by following social distancing advice.”