MORE key figures from Bradford are encouraging people in the district to get tested for COVID-19, adhere to Government guidelines and avoid mass gatherings, as the fight to stay safe and prevent a local lockdown continues.

It comes after Bradford Council continued to urge people to get tested immediately if they show symptoms of the virus.

Bradford has the second-highest rate of infection in the UK, according to GOV.UK figures, trailing only behind Leicester - which has already been forced into a local lockdown, while the rest of the country begins to see measures ease.

Bradford Council has helped to introduce mobile testing units across the district, with Councillor Ralph Berry, of the Wibsey ward, arguing that testing is vital to the district's hopes of keeping numbers down.

"Testing and tracing is a great idea and it's a method that will help to give us all reassurance", he said.

"Getting a test is really important. I've actually done one myself and got it via post, because I wanted to make sure I was safe before I allowed anyone else into my social bubble.

"We have to recognise that this is about looking after other people, and it's not just about yourself. You could be walking around with the virus and not know it, and you could pass it to someone else. You have to think of your neighbours, aunties, uncles and others."

Those who are hoping to visit one of Bradford's testing centres must wear a face covering and maintain social distancing at all times, and must also avoid travelling to and from the site by public transport, Bradford Council says.

"It's interesting that people don't seem to be using masks on buses as much as on trains", Cllr Berry noted.

"But it's common sense and good hygiene to wear one. It's a very minor inconvenience to have to wear one. You can still go out, but it's just about being careful.

"In Bradford, we've been very upfront and honest about this, and we must keep up our sense of care and commitment to others."

Shohaib Ali, Manager of Muhammadi Masjid in Keighley, also believes that testing is crucial in the Bradford district's bid to beat the virus.

"The more people tested, the better. If you get tested, at least you know if you have the virus or not. More testing will ensure more awareness around the situation.

"We've had a mobile testing unit here in Keighley, and they will hopefully help to avoid a local lockdown.

"At the Muhammadi Masjid, we've been doing a good job of carrying out temperature checks and sticking to guidelines, as I know other mosques have done, too.

"We've been well organised and controlled, and it's important that the rest of community acts in the same way."

Last week, Professor John Wright also encouraged testing, in order to "protect the lives of your friends and family", while Trevor Higgins, Chief Executive of Bradford Breakthrough, added: "We have to continue to be mindful of the virus and we need to increase testing and tracing to prevent a second wave, or Bradford going into a local lockdown."

More information on testing units, across the Bradford district, are available on the Bradford Council website.