PEOPLE across Keighley and the rest of Bradford district “must stick together” to beat coronavirus.

The rallying call was issued by Bradford Council’s leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe amid reports that some people were “playing the blame game” following the introduction of local restrictions.

The Government announced additional measures late last Thursday night designed to help halt a rise in Covid-19 rates in several areas of the north, including Bradford district.

Under the rules, people are barred from meeting others they don’t live with in homes or private gardens – except where a support bubble has been formed – or socialise with others from outside their household in indoor public venues, such as pubs and restaurants.

“It’s with real sadness that I see some people are using the local restrictions to promote division and disharmony,” said Cllr Hinchcliffe. “Let’s not play the blame game in the Bradford district – we’re better than that.

“Our Muslim community has shown great fortitude throughout this period. During Eid ul Fitr in May they stayed at home, without going to the mosque for prayers. And just two hours before Eid ul Adha, which is as important to the Muslim faith as Christmas is to Christianity, they were told by the Government their celebrations would be spoiled. They have shown great dignity in their response.

“These regulations are challenging for all of us.

“The timing of the announcement was unexpected, but the Government is right to bring in the restrictions and we need to follow them to prevent a local lockdown and to protect each other. Let’s not forget that the group most affected by coronavirus is our elderly – 74 per cent of deaths nationally have been amongst the 75-plus age group. And it is the elderly of all communities who we have tragically lost. We don’t want to lose any more.

“Our forefathers during national crises of war stuck together, united in battling common enemies. We can’t see this enemy, but it is all around us. To fight it we must retain that spirit of togetherness. Beating the virus is a joint effort.”

Full details of the latest restrictions can be found at