Aberdeen placed back into lockdown following spike in coronavirus cases

5 August 2020, 12:34

Aberdeen has closed pubs and restaurants
Aberdeen has closed pubs and restaurants. Picture: Getty

By Kate Buck

Restaurants, bars and cafes have closed across Aberdeen, with travel restrictions back in place, following a spike in coronavirus cases in the area.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said 54 cases have now been reported in the outbreak.

Pubs, bars and cafes were ordered to close by 5pm on Wednesday, and travel restrictions are also back in place, meaning people cannot travel further than five miles for leisure and recreation.

People are however permitted to go to work.

Anyone from outside the city should not to travel in.

A household ban is also back in place, meaning households are now no longer permitted to visit one another.

The measures will be in place for seven days and will be reviewed after that period.

On Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon said: "The decisions are not being taken lightly but we are at a stage of this pandemic where strong action is necessary and sensible."

Read more: UK to send £5 million emergency package to Lebanon following Beirut explosion

Read more: Sir Keir Starmer repeats demand for extension to furlough scheme

Residents react to Aberdeen lockdown

She added the changes will be reviewed next Wednesday, when she hopes they could be removed, either in entirety or in part.

Ms Sturgeon said they could be extended beyond that seven-day period if necessary.

Speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh on Wednesday, she said the rise in cases has contributed to a greater fear there has been a "significant outbreak" in the city.

According to the First Minister, more than 20 other pubs and restaurants are involved in the cluster.

Across Scotland, Ms Sturgeon said 18,781 people have tested positive for the virus, up by 64 from 18,717 the day before.

"The last thing we want to do is to reimpose these restrictions but this outbreak is reminding us just how highly infectious Covid is," Ms Sturgeon said.

Read more: UK set to sizzle in temperatures 'hotter than Caribbean' this weekend

Read more: People listening to radio more during lockdown, research shows

Resident of Aberdeenshire

"Our precautionary and careful judgment is that we need to take decisive action now, difficult as that undoubtedly is, in order to try to contain this outbreak and prevent further harm later on.

"As I said earlier, this is about doing all we can to ensure our children can return to schools next week."

She added: "Acting now, we judge, gives us the time and the space to protect the ability of our young people to return to education."

Extra police officers will be on the streets in Aberdeen to ensure residents comply with the reintroduced lockdown rules.

Aberdeen put into local lockdown over fears of coronavirus outbreak

Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr said: "It's really important that people follow the instructions and guidance from the Scottish Government.

"To support that, we will have additional patrols in Aberdeen, where local restrictions have been reintroduced.

"Our approach to these local restrictions will reflect the consistent approach taken by Police Scotland since the outset of this pandemic, and our officers will continue to engage, educate and encourage people to comply, as we all support the public health efforts to stop the spread of the virus

"As a national service, Police Scotland is able to quickly flex capacity to support local communities across the country and we will provide whatever additional resources are necessary to protect and support the communities affected."

He reiterated comments from Chief Constable Iain Livingstone that everyone should take personal responsibility to prevent the virus spreading.

Jenny Laing, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council said: "It is unfortunate that just as we were returning to normality that this has happened, but the safety of our citizens is our first priority.

"We must adhere to the Scottish Government's guidance to ensure the safety of everyone."