Aberdeen pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes have been told to close from 5pm tonight (5th August) by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon following the news that the Coronavirus cluster in the city has now risen to 54. The Covid-19 outbreak which originated from the Hawthorn Bar now includes a further 20 pubs which will be named later today and customers to these pubs will be asked to seek tests if feeling unwell.
When the Aberdeen cluster was initially reported by NHSGampian at the end of last week there were 4 identified cases over last few days the test protect team has seen the cluster rise to 64 with 191 close contacts already traced – although that number is expect that number to rise. In the past 24 hours hours across whole of Scotland 64 new cases reported.
Said the First MInister, “This high number heightens our concern that we are dealing with a significant outbreak in Aberdeen that may involve community transmission.”
She said that although the main link identified in this cluster was the Hawthorn Bar – she revealed that more detailed analysis showed that the venue did not account for all the positive cases saying. “Indeed more than 20 other licensed premises are part of the contact tracing picture.”
“We have been lead to conclusion so we now must now take further immediate steps on a highly precautionery basis to break chains of transmission.
“We must act quickly and decisively if we are to succeed in our aim of keeping transmission as close to elimination levels as possible. In order to protect our priority of getting children back to school.”
She went onto announced she was re-imposing some restrictions of Aberdeen which included closing hospitality. The First Minister said, “We will be introducing regulations (later today) requiring all indoor and outdoor hospitality in the city to close by 5pm today. That includes all bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs. Hotel restaurants can remain open for residents only and takeways can continue.”
She added, “This restrictions on hospitality will be backed by regulations. If ncecessary these will be enforced. But considering the responsible way that the owners of these businesses have behaved inrecent days I belive they will act voluntarily and I would like to thank them for their co-operation so far.”
Travel restrictions have also been brought in with people living in Aberdeen advised not to travel more than 5 miles for leisure or recreation purposes although they may still travel for work. People not in Aberdeen were advised to avoid the city. People in Aberdeen are also advised not visit each other houses – however extended household groups can continue.
The regulations will be reviewed. Said the First Minister, “These regulations and associated guidance and advice will be reviewed in 7 days time – by which time I hope we will be in a better position to judge the scale and projectory of the outbreak and will decide then if they can be removed in entirety or inpart.” However she went onto say that they could also be extended.”
Some pubs in the city had already voluntarily closed before the First MInisters announcement with PB Pub Dev closing their eight venues yesterday and Siberia following suit.