A leaflet delivered to Newcastle homes that encouraged residents to ignore Covid-19 restrictions and live their lives as normal has been slammed as "dangerous" by councillors and medics.
Residents in different parts of the city had the 'back to normal' flyer posted through their doors, with the material suggesting people should ignore the ruled that are in place to control the virus.
Declaring 'live without fear, I'm going back to normal', the leaflet claimed that lockdowns have "cost lives but not stopped Covid".
And it urged people to "revive the economy" and "restore freedom".
The "inappropriate" literature has drawn scathing criticism from senior councillors.
Newcastle City Council ’s cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Public Health, Coun Irim Ali, said: “Every single one of us has been impacted by this deadly virus, and its impact is there to see in the tens of thousands of lives lost and the devastating effect it has had on the economy.
“It is so important that we all take the right steps to limit the impact of the virus in order to protect those most vulnerable from becoming seriously ill, or even succumbing to it, and putting our city in the best possible position to recover.
“For that to be effective, we all need to follow the proper guidance and this kind of publication does nothing to help that.
"It sends entirely the wrong message to our communities that have been so badly hit by Covid-19 and is insulting to everybody who has suffered so much.”
Coun Wendy Taylor, member for Dene and South Gosforth and a consultant at the Freeman Hospital, was alerted to the material by a resident.
She said: “We are at a critical point in the fight against the virus. Vaccination programmes are under way and great progress is being made, but it is abundantly clear that the threat of the virus is still very real and we must all continue to follow the regulations in full.
“Even those who have received a vaccination must continue to stay at home and follow the guidance as there is a risk of still being able to carry the virus and spread it to others in the community.
“I would encourage all residents to follow the guidance coming from official sources such as the NHS and to completely disregard dangerous materials like these which do nothing but completely undermine the huge efforts that have gone into tackling this virus.
“We must continue to be vigilant against Covid-19 by staying at home, following the Hands, Face, Space public health guidance, and doing what we can to bring down infection rates."
For the latest information on Covid-19, visit www.newcastle.gov/coronavirus.