An Aberdeen pub is being investigated by police after footage emerged showing customers breaching social distancing rules while celebrating Scotland reaching Euro 2020.
A video posted on social media showed revellers celebrating at The Draft Project on Thursday night as Scotland beat Serbia.
Crowds could be seen embracing each other in the clip as the city sits in level two of the Scottish Government’s coronavirus alert system.
The bar, owned by PB Devco which also runs the nearby Soul Bar, was one of 28 venues linked to the city’s coronavirus cluster outbreak in August.
Police Scotland chief inspector David Howieson said: “We are aware of footage circulating on social media following the Scotland game last night.
“Officers were on patrol within the city centre throughout the evening and in attendance at the premises in question where they supported staff who ejected a number of patrons following a spontaneous reaction to the first Scotland goal.
“Police are working in close consultation with the local authority environmental health and licensing teams to investigate the full circumstances.”
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing deputy first minister John Swinney said: “I think we can all understand there is a natural appetite for people to celebrate in the aftermath of what was a very, very anxious evening last night.
“All credit to the Scotland team for their resilience and perseverance but there’s also been perseverance on the part of football fans for the last 22 years when we’ve been absent from these competitions.
“I think we all understand the natural desire to celebrate but the virus is a real threat to all of our lives, our communities and our loved ones.
“I’ve had to report today some terrible statistics about the number of deaths that have taken place from coronavirus.
“Although we are all frustrated and fed-up with the restrictions and when something comes along like a magnificent Scotland football team victory, we all naturally want to celebrate.
“Yes we want to celebrate but we all have to understand the social distancing rules and the facts advice I have given out are critical to interrupt the spread of the virus.”
An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “We are investigating the circumstances of last night with Police Scotland.”
The scenes were criticised by the area’s MSP, who said he was contacting police.
MSP for Aberdeen Central, Kevin Stewart wrote on Twitter: “Today, 58 people in Grampian tested positive for Covid-19.
“Tonight, I am receiving messages with video footage from an Aberdeen bar featuring clear breaches of regulations.
“This is not good enough and I will be contacting the police and the council tomorrow and they must investigate.”
Industry chiefs also hit out at the footage and said they would support action taken by the police and council.
A spokesperson from the Scottish Hospitality Group said: “The scenes tonight in Aberdeen are nothing short of disgraceful.
‘This virus does not rest. It does not take a minute off, much less 90 minutes, extra time and penalties.’Susan Webb, director of public health, NHS Grampian
“The SHG condemn fully the behaviour of the operator and customers.
“There is a duty to protect public health and we would support any action taken by authorities after any investigation.”
Susan Webb, director of public health, NHS Grampian said: “I am aware of footage being shared on social media, apparently shot in licensed premises in Aberdeen during last night’s Scotland match.
“While I cannot comment on these specific circumstances, I can say this – this virus does not rest. It does not take a minute off, much less 90 minutes, extra time and penalties.
“Letting our guard down gives it the opportunity to pass from person to person and, as too many families can confirm, it can have deadly consequences.
“I absolutely understand the desire to celebrate. Staff working across the NHS want to celebrate too. We want to return to normal.
“That can only happen if we all work together and keep sticking to the guidance.”
Stuart Clarkson, owner and founder of PB Devco said: “Having seen the videos I am shocked, disappointed and saddened. This simply is not acceptable and I understand why people are so upset by this.
“While we are proud of our venues and the safe environment they provide, it is clear that in this case we misjudged what was likely to happen. Despite having four additional members of security staff on duty, we were simply unable to contain the outbreak of joy at Scotland’s success.
“I would also like to thank the four Police Scotland officers who attended the venue for around 40 minutes and supported our management and security staff after the first goal was scored.
“We truly hoped and believed we could provide a safe way for customers to enjoy this crucial match and that we could do that within the existing regulations. We took all steps we could to fully comply with those regulations.
“With hindsight it is easy to understand the scenes of sheer, unbridled joy. Unfortunately, in the current pandemic, that is not acceptable and we were unable to prevent or contain what happened.
“I will now be carrying out a thorough review of what went wrong and what steps we have to take to prevent any such repeat incidents. We will also comply fully and assist any reviews or investigations by the police, Aberdeen City Council or the Scottish Government.”
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