THE ACTIONS of a minority of Bradford residents who are ignoring rules on social distancing have been condemned.

A number of groups are still not obeying the regulations and are putting others at risk, according to Professor John Wright.

And Bradford Council said some people were not getting the message that play areas, play grounds and multi-use games areas across the Bradford district are closed.

Prof Wright, the Director of the Bradford Institute of Health Research at Bradford Royal Infirmary, said today that a lot of people had heeded the Stay At Home call and social distancing was “dramatically better” but some - like those we picture with this story - are breaching it.


The group we photographed playing on the swings at Lister Park, Manningham, were breaking the recognised advice.

Prof Wright said: “There has been quite a rapid change of heart in the last couple of days.

“People are noticeably staying away from each other but still too close.”

He said campaigns will continue to “nudge” people towards good behaviour and said part of this was, for young people, reinforcing the message that if you love your parents and grandparents you follow the rules.

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“They might not catch it but they can pass it on.”

In a statement, the Council said it was hearing of people ignoring the signs and tape.

They are also getting reports of people driving to beauty spots such as the Cow and Calf Rocks for picnics and to meet up with friends in groups.

"The message is clear - avoid all unnecessary journeys and Stay At Home. If people don’t have a garden or access to outside space they should go as far as nearest park or greenspace, not venture further afield.

"Local parks should only be used for the sole purpose of daily exercise and not to meet mates, use equipment or play sports."

People who live in the same house may go out together but should keep their distance from others. Groups of more than two people from different households meeting up are dangerous and not allowed.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, the Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “I cannot stress this strongly enough – this is a national emergency and not a national holiday.

"Now is not the time to go to the park to meet up with your mates, it is also not the time to take up jogging, go hill walking or go on excessive dog walks. This is the time to avoid all non-essential travel, keep contact to a minimum and Stay At Home.

“People need to get real and treat this seriously – workplaces and education setting are not closed to give people the opportunity to meet with their friends and stroll in the park.

“Anyone you come in to contact with could have coronavirus, any surface you touch could have coronavirus, so meeting up with people and using the play equipment in parks is extremely irresponsible.

“People who are doing this, are not only risking their health, but the health of everyone they come in to contact with, including members of their family especially elderly grandparents, great grandparents and people who are already not well. Gates are locked, signs are up and areas are taped off for a reason."

“Youth Workers have also been giving clear messages that young people should Stay At Home and act responsibly to help keep them and their loved ones safe. This doesn’t mean all hang out at one person’s house. It means go to your own home and stay there.

“There are loads of great ways that people can use technology to keep in touch and people should use these.”

Councillor Sameena Akhtar (Lab, Manningham) said: “The council has closed play parks for a reason, it’s to save lives. I would urge everyone using the park at this time for their exercise to respect physical distancing, by doing so they will be stopping the virus from spreading further.”

Coun Sarfraz Nazir (Lab, Manningham) said: "This is iresponsbile behaviour and it's something which goes against all guidance that has been shared locally and nationally. This is putting the individual and others at risk and we encourage all to  adhere to guidance and not put themselves and others at risk.

"The response generally across the board has been fantastic, council officers are supporting community groups to ensure people are being educated about adhering to guidance."

In a statement on Tuesday the Council said parks and green spaces would stay open providing people do not overcrowd these areas and follow the rules on social distancing, hand hygiene and staying at home if they have symptoms or may have been in to contact with anyone who has symptoms.

“If people can’t do this then we may be forced to close these spaces altogether.”

Some of Britain’s biggest retailers have introduced stricter measures at stores to ensure that customers stay safe as they pick up essentials.

Tesco, Morrisons and Asda plan to limit the number of customers allowed into their shops at any given time, and introduced other new rules.

Shoppers queued at some stores today, only allowed to enter when someone leaves.

Lloyds Pharmacy said that only two customers would be allowed into its stores at any one time. The chain will adopt a strict two-in two-out policy, it said on Wednesday.