Lockdown restrictions reimposed in Aberdeen as coronavirus cluster grows

Craig Paton, PA Scotland
·4 min read

Bars, cafes and restaurants have been ordered to close as lockdown restrictions are reimposed in Aberdeen over a coronavirus cluster in the area.

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

She said the rise in cases heightens fears the Scottish Government is “dealing with a significant outbreak in Aberdeen that may include some community transmission”.

A five-mile travel rule has been put in place and residents are being told not to enter each other’s houses.

All indoor and outdoor hospitality venues have been told to close by 5pm on Wednesday.

The measures, which apply to the Aberdeen City area, will be backed by government regulations, the First Minister said, and will be enforced if the rules are not followed.

Rate of new cases of Covid-19 in Aberdeen
(PA Graphics)

The Scottish Government later announced that visits to hospital and care homes from a named family member or friend will be stopped, with only essential visits being allowed.

The decision was taken following a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee (SCOR), which also included leaders of Aberdeen City Council, NHS Grampian and Police Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon added the decision to reimpose some measures was taken to “prevent further spread and to give the Test and Protect teams the best possible chance of successfully breaking these chains of transmission”.

The First Minister said people should not travel to Aberdeen, but those who are already there can remain.

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.

Coronavirus – Wed Aug 5, 2020
Union Street in Aberdeen after bars, cafes and restaurants have been ordered to close (Andrew Milligan/PA)

NHS Grampian has named 28 bars and restaurants, three golf clubs and a football club as venues visited by people linked to the cluster.

The bars and restaurants are The Bieldside Inn; The Bobbin; Brewdog; Buckie Farm Carvery; Cafe Andaluz; Cafe Dag; Cafe Drummond; The Cock and Bull; The College Bar; The Dutch Mill; Dyce Carvery; East End Social Club; Ferryhill House Hotel; The Hawthorn; The Howff, The Justice Mill, The Marine Hotel, McGinty’s; McNasty’s; Malmaison; Moonfish Cafe, No 10 Bar; O’Donoghues; Old Bank Bar; Prohibition; Soul; The Spiders Web, and The Draft Project.

Aboyne Golf Club, Deeside Golf Club, Hazlehead Golf Club and Banks O’ Dee Football Club were also cited by the health board.

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.

“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.

Coronavirus – Wed Aug 5, 2020
Signage on a shop window on Union Street in Aberdeen (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“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.”

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.”