LIMITING social interaction DOES reduce the spread of coronavirus.

That's the message from Bradford district's director of public health Sarah Muckle following the decision to close pubs, clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres.

She said: "We know that people can 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 and the NHS and save lives.

"COVID-19 (coronavirus) 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.

“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.

"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.

"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 bodies are working hard to ensure people receive essential services, stay safe and get the care they need when they need it – but every individual, family and 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."

Advice includes:

* Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus. These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough

* Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible

* Work from home, where possible

* Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public venues

* Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet and social media

* Use the telephone or go online if you need to contact your GP or other essential services