Pubs to reopen as lockdown restrictions in Aberdeen eased

The current five mile travel restriction will be lifted on Monday morning.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants in Aberdeen will reopen as the city’s lockdown restrictions are eased.

The hospitality sector will be back in business from Wednesday and the current five mile travel restriction will be lifted from Monday morning.

Restrictions on gatherings and limitations on hospital and care home visits will also be lifted on Monday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out a timeline following a SGORR meeting on Sunday.

Cafes, restaurants or any businesses with a hospitality element within them, along with restaurants, pubs, casinos, 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.

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Douglas Lumsden said the easing of the lockdown was a huge relief.

“I know the impact it’s been having on the city and on jobs, with the continued lockdown.

“It’s good to see now we have a timetable set out and on Wednesday hopefully things can start to get back to the new normal.”

The announcement followed lengthy talks this morning between Scottish Government and council officials.

“This morning we had a long and detailed meeting between the city council, the health professionals and the chief medical officer,” Mr Lumsden said.

“It wasn’t unanimous about the direction we should be going. Some people in the government felt that the lockdown should be left in place for a bit longer.

“But when we look at the evidence of our infection rates falling fast – we’re at the national average already  and that’s still falling even further – it was quite clear that there no real case to maintain this lockdown any longer.

“Everyone has to be careful, everyone has to behave, but it’s good to see that we’re making progress.”

Last week council leaders expressed their anger after the First Minister announced the lockdown would be extended for a further week.

“I think we put up a good case last Wednesday when we had the information from the local incident management team.

“It’s a little bit frustrating that it’s taken a bit longer than we expected to get that agreement. But the main thing now is the end is in sight for Aberdeen and we have a clear path going forward of when things can open again.”

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.”

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