A BRADFORD takeaway owner sent out a strong message today as the coronavirus crisis intensified and the threat of stricter enforcement measures to prevent its spread loomed.

Ibrahim Sadiq, who owns Iby’s on Leeds Road, took the decision to close due to the severity of the unprecedented situation the country is facing.

The shutters are due to roll down after Mr Sadiq said it was clear that maintaining safe social distancing - even while operating a takeaway service - had become “increasingly difficult”.


He told the Telegraph & Argus: “Whilst we have always appreciated the support and custom of our loyal customers, providing a takeaway service, and in spite of our intention to offer Uber Eats deliveries, it is not essential or comparable to supermarket deliveries which can provide a lifeline to many and supplies are able to last a considerable time.

“The risk posed by coronavirus far outweighs the benefits of keeping takeaways open.

“In these difficult times we must uphold ourselves as responsible citizens. This we believe, extends to closing all but necessary establishments.

“We do not wish to put our customers or staff at risk of catching the virus and taking it home to their families. It would be irresponsible to continue trading and encouraging socialising as large groups are continuing to congregate putting the vulnerable at risk.”

He added: “Allah (swt) will always provide rizq and any sacrifice made in these situations for His sake will be a means of increased Barakah InshaAllah.

“We hope by taking this stance it will encourage others to do the same as there’s one less excuse for people to be out.”

He said it had been a pleasure serving his customers, but said: “We hope this time can be used to reconnect with those at home. Often in the hustle and bustle of world and work we lose sight of our blessings.

“Stay safe. Stay home.”

His message comes one day after a major campaign was launched in Bradford, urging people to stay at home.

On Sunday, Professor John Wright, a public health doctor and the Director of the Bradford Institute of Health Research at Bradford Royal Infirmary, issued the make-or-break message and described it as an “urgent 48 hours”.

He said today: “The modelling evidence seems to be that the tougher action we take today, the fewer people will die. Now is the time for tough action. If you look at the rest of Europe, it’s in lockdown.”

He added: “I would rather Bradfordians act together and do it ourselves for the sake of our parents and grandparents.

"The message is, the sooner we isolate ourselves, the sooner we stay at home, only go out when we need to, the less contact there will be across the communities, the fire will die out.”

Today has seen announcements from major national high street names of even more closures.

McDonalds, Costa, Starbucks, Pret a Manger, John Lewis, Debenhams, Ikea, New Look, Waterstones, Topshop and others have all shut their doors while the virus continues to take a hold across the country.

In Thornbury, motorists queued round the block in the late afternoon at the McDonald's drive-through in a bid to get their hands on a final maccy d's for some time.

The Kirkgate Centre, in Bradford city centre, was eerily quiet today, with the Broadway Centre also very quiet.

Bradford Council also announced the closure of its libraries.

They had stayed open as community hubs, but the Council said: “In response to Government advice about social distancing and with concerns for the health of our customers and staff, ALL libraries are now closed to the public.”

Meanwhile, the Government said businesses which do not follow COVID-19 restrictions will be issued with prohibition notices.

Those which fail to comply will receive fines and could also face the loss of alcohol licences.

And the Government has warned there will be no upper limit to fines given to firms which continue to ignore restrictions. Businesses including pubs, cinemas, theatres and casinos were told to close from Saturday, as part of the Government drive to reduce the spread of the virus. The Government confirmed that Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers, with police support if appropriate, will work together to issue prohibition notices to businesses which do not follow the restrictions.

Under the new regulations, they will have powers to prosecute for breach of regulations.

Calls have been made to impose further restrictions to reduce the spread of the virus and Downing Street has said more measures could still be introduced.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “If people are going out and socialising when they don’t need to then they are putting people’s lives at risk.

“If information which we are gathering shows that social interaction hasn’t stopped as we hoped it would, then we will need to take further measures.”

The spokesman said the Government will ramp up its public information campaign, adding: “I think you could expect much more information to be made available to the public in the coming days as well.”