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A Bradford fish and chip restaurant has defended itself after crowds queueing for a bargain dinner appeared not to be social distancing.

The Yorkshire city has a high infection rate of about 90 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people – more than four times the rate at which people coming from foreign countries are told to quarantine.

But people braved the infection risk to queue for Mother Hubbard’s 45p fish and chip deal at the Legrams Lane branch.

Passers-by took photos and videos, with one telling the Bradford Telegraph and Argus: “Absolutely shocking, people queueing like sardines, no social distancing, no masks – and all for 45p fish and chips.”

Footage appears to show barriers separating people in the snaking queue from each other. Masks and hand sanitiser were also reportedly handed out to people in line.

Mother Hubbard’s, which opened its first branch in 1972, defended itself from the criticism.

A spokesperson said: “Our priority is to keep the public and our staff safe, that is always our intention. In the videos and pictures, the scene did look chaotic, but they don’t tell the full story.

“We had professional barriers in place, we had markings on the ground so people could socially distance, we were giving out masks and hand sanitiser to the customers and only two to three people were allowed inside the store at one time.”

They added: “We can understand why people have perceived the scenes negatively, but we tried our best to manage things…

“In 1972, Mother Hubbard’s was opened by Coronation Street stars Bernard Youens and Jean Alexander, who played characters Stan and Hilda Ogden, and it sold fish and chips for just 45p.”

“We made this decision in the name of community spirit – everyone has had a tough time due to COVID-19, so we wanted to give something back. It was all about bringing back the nostalgia of 1972 and supporting the local community.”