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Easing of restrictions

FM confirms partial lifting of Aberdeen lockdown


Businesses in Aberdeen will be relieved

A number of restrictions in Aberdeen were lifted at midnight with hospitality businesses allowed to reopen on Wednesday.

A meeting of a Covid emergency group today persuaded the First Minister to ease the 18-day lockdown and also set out a timeline for the lifting of travel and other restrictions.

From Monday (24th) the five-mile travel limit, restrictions on gatherings and limitations on hospital and care home visits will 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.

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These, along with restaurants, pubs, casinos and other hospitality premises, will be able to open from Wednesday, only once an environmental health check has been completed.

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 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 from those.

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.

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“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.”

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.

“It is also vitally important that anyone identified as a close contact of a detected case follows the guidance on isolating for 14 days.”

The Scottish Government has not ruled out extending restrictions if necessary to protect public health.

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