Scotland Times

Monday, Oct 25, 2021
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Partial lifting of Aberdeen lockdown restrictions

Partial lifting of Aberdeen lockdown restrictions

Some of Aberdeen's lockdown restrictions are set to be lifted at midnight.

Pubs and restaurants were shut 18 days ago, and restrictions were placed on travel and visits to other households, after a spike in Covid-19 cases linked to bars and nightlife in the city.

The five-mile restriction on non-essential travel and the ban on indoor gatherings will end at midnight.

Hospitality businesses will be able to reopen from Wednesday.

However, the reopening of pubs, cafes and restaurants will be subject to environmental health checks.

Talks have been going on throughout Sunday involving the Scottish government, Aberdeen City Council, NHS Grampian and Police Scotland.

From midnight, limitations on hospital and care home visits will also be lifted.

Businesses due to open on Monday in line with the national route map can also reopen, with the exception of cafes, restaurants or any hospitality element within them.

Hospitality business owners are being urged to get in touch with Aberdeen City Council if they have not already had an environmental health check.

The meeting heard the latest update from the Incident Management Team on the level of the virus and its transmission in Aberdeen.

The latest figures show a total of 427 cases have been identified in the Grampian Health Board area since 26 July.

Of these, 259 are associated with the same cluster linked to Aberdeen pubs, and 1,258 contacts have now been identified.


'I am very grateful to people in Aberdeen'


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "I am grateful to people in Aberdeen - the local authority and health board, local businesses, and everyone who lives there - for complying so well with the rules that were put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

"In particular I am grateful for the understanding of the businesses that were required to close in order to help beat the virus.

"It's due to the commitment of people in the city, as well as world-class contact tracing that means we are now able to lift some of these measures from Monday and then again from Wednesday, but it is vitally important that everyone follows the FACTS rules in order to prevent an outbreak of this scale occurring again.

"That way we can move forward and get our economy, our society and our lives generally back to as much normality as possible."


The cluster was linked to bars in the city


Susan Webb, director of Public Health for NHS Grampian said: "We must be cautious to ensure the progress we have made is maintained.

"Crucially, we must all be observing physical distancing from those not in our immediate household; whether at work, meeting socially, in a supermarket or out for exercise and recreation."

She said it was also "vitally important" that anyone identified as a close contact of a detected case followed the guidance on isolating for 14 days.

The local lockdown restrictions, which have affected 228,000 people in Aberdeen, were:

* bars, cafes, restaurants and pubs were closed

* no travel for more than five miles for leisure or holidays

* no travel to the city for leisure or to visit friends and family, even if you lived in Aberdeenshire

* no indoor visits with other households

* visiting suspended for most hospitals

A £1m support fund was set up for the city, with grants of up to £1,500 available for hospitality businesses.

FACTS


F - Face coverings. These should be used in shops and on public transport (buses, trains and taxis)

A - Avoid crowded places.

C - Clean your hands frequently, using water and soap whenever possible.

T - Two metres - observe physical distancing.

S - Self-isolate and book a test if you are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms.

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