Aberdeen lockdown: Pubs and restaurants close amid ‘significant outbreak’ as Sturgeon hints pub crawls could be banned

Emily Goddard, Alastair Jamieson
·3-min read
Getty
Getty

Lockdown restrictions have been reimposed in Aberdeen after a cluster of coronavirus cases linked to pubs and bars caused fears of a “significant outbreak” in the Scottish city.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes closed at 5pm on Wednesday and a five-mile travel rule has been put in place.

Residents are also being told not to go into each other’s houses.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said 54 new cases have emerged in the outbreak “that may include some community transmission”.

Speaking at a Covid-19 briefing in Edinburgh, she said 191 contacts have been traced in relation to the cluster and more than 20 pubs and restaurants are involved.

Ms Sturgeon said 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”.

She added: “The last thing we want to do is to reimpose these restrictions but this outbreak is reminding us just how highly infectious Covid is.

“Our precautionary and careful judgement 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.”

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.

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.

Ms Sturgeon said the restrictions will be reviewed next Wednesday, when she hopes they could be removed, either in entirety or in part.

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

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.”

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

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