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Timeline set out for lifting temporary restrictions in Aberdeen Published Date: 23/08/2020

The First Minister has set out a timeline for the lifting of travel restrictions, limits on indoor meetings and the opening of hospitality.

A number of restrictions will be lifted at midnight tonight (Sunday 23 August) so that by Monday 24 August Aberdeen will be broadly in line with the rest of Scotland. From tomorrow the five-mile travel limit, restrictions on gatherings and limitations on hospital and care home visits will be lifted.

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

These, along with restaurants, pubs, casinos and other hospitality premises, will be able to open from Wednesday 26 August, but 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 SGORR meeting included partners from Aberdeen City Council, NHS Grampian and Police Scotland, and 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 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, 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.