STAY at home to save your life.

That is the urgent and stark message from health and Council chiefs as Bradford enters a critical 48 hours to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Stay.At.Home scheme will see doctors, public health experts, council staff from across Bradford taking to the streets to help reduce the threat of coronavirus.

It’s all part of an urgent campaign, launched by the health and care community in Centenary Square today, to ensure people stay safe by simply adhering to the message 'Stay.At.Home'. This event was attended by a number of leading figures in the district including The Bishop of Bradford, the Right Reverend Toby Howarth.

An image from the NHS appeared on the large video screen in Centenary Square, which read: 'Coronavirus. Isolate Your Household. Stay at Home'.

Bradford is breaking new ground by taking this step, which is designed to offer ultimate protection, especially among the elderly and vulnerable.

A total of 1.4 million vulnerable people across the UK will receive letters on Monday and Tuesday telling them that they should stay at home.

Public health doctors in Bradford fear they now have perhaps 48 hours to safeguard the district's community.

The action comes as record number of people - as a result of school closures, new ways of home working, pub/restaurant staff closures etc - will be at home from Monday.

The Bradford campaign is centred on encouraging all these people to stay at home, and others to follow their example.

Organisers say Stay.At.Home is so important at this critical time and that’s why they took to the streets to spread the campaign message.

Professor John Wright, a public health doctor and the Director of the Bradford Institute of Health Research at Bradford Royal Infirmary, issued the stern make-or-break message.

He said: "This is an urgent next 48 hours.

"This is going to cause a lot of deaths in the city.

“The storm is coming to West Yorkshire. Now is the time to take shelter.

"Everybody needs to stay at home. This will be for the foreseeable future."

Mr Wright also urged people to wash their hands and adhere to all medical advice given.

Meanwhile, Bradford Council leader Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe urged district residents to listen to the stark warning, steering people away from 'fake news'.

She said: "I realise people are being bombarded with messages, and the proliferation of fake news is particularly unhelpful.

"But if there’s one clear message I would like people to listen to today it is that of John Wright from Born in Bradford, who is insistent that we only have 48 hours to safeguard our community.

"A total of 1.4 million vulnerable people will receive letters on Monday and Tuesday telling them that they should Stay.At.Home.

"If you’re one of those people in Bradford district then I implore you to take heed of that message, others then will also follow your example.

"In the context of a lifetime a few months is only a small interlude.

"But those few months of confinement, if strictly adhered to, could not only save your life but those of your dearest family and friends too."

Rumours spread on social media today suggesting that restaurants were open to customers in Oak Lane, Manningham, flouting the strict guidelines on food and leisure establishments, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.


When the Telegraph & Argus visited the street this afternoon, only a small number of takeaways were open to customers, which does not flout the current guidelines.

Cllr Sarfraz Nazir (Lab, Manningham) warned against any restaurants looking to go against the strict guidelines. He added lives depended on sticking to social distancing.

He said: "We welcome the news that restaurant businesses have taken Government guidance seriously and are now operating as take-outs only.

"It’s absolutely essential that this guidance is followed to protect all of our communities.

"We are continuing to work with council officers to make sure that the message about social distancing is adhered to quickly and properly by all businesses. Lives depend on it."