The owner of a parent and child group has branded Covid-19 rules on classes as “bizarre.”
Scottish Government guidelines limit the sessions to a maximum of 10 people of all ages with no more than five adults.
Leanne Watt, 37, runs the Kids Rocks music story imagination for children from birth until the age of five.
She has 57 youngsters registered for her classes which are held at venues in Altens, Danestone and Kingwells.
Leanne plays the songs of David Bowie and other rock musicians on guitar to tell stories during the classes.
She has been successfully running her business during the coronavirus crisis and has been taking measures collecting people’s details for the Trace and Protect scheme, social distancing, and strict hygiene measures.
But Leanne, who launched her business in 2017, said the rules make it “impossible” for her to run the classes.
She is also concerned about the mental health impact on new parents and children who rely on regular gatherings.
Leanne, who is from Kingswells said: “I am on a mission to raise awareness of a terrible decision made by the Scottish Government to restrict parent and child group guidelines so much that it’s impossible to run.
“Due to the change in the guidance published I have been forced to suspend my classes with immediate effect as it is just not possible to continue with our current numbers under the new guidelines.
“If there is not a change in the guidance I and many others may not be able to reopen.
“Taking into account the cost of hall hire classes of four families maximum would barely cover the cost leaving it almost impossible to run.
“Aside from the devastating fact of a homegrown business that I have worked very hard to establish and many others like it folded, the effect on our parents and children’s health and well being could be devastating.
“I completely understand why restrictions are being made and I do not for one minute doubt the seriousness of the pandemic however I feel it extremely bizarre how one can go to a pub while the restrictions have been made so tight in our type of classes it has been made impossible to continue.”
The restrictions on parent and child groups were brought up at First Minister’s questions on Thursday by Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton.
He highlighted the potential mental health impact on new parents who cannot attend the classes and he asked to know what the scientific basis was for limits on the groups.
In response to the question, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she has already spoken to health officials about the rules.
She said: “I absolutely understand the importance of parent and baby groups, and perinatal mental health is a key priority for the government, which we have invested significantly in.
“I also understand the risk that large numbers of adults coming together will increase transmission of the virus. We are trying to balance those things.
“Just this morning, I asked the chief medical officer and the national clinical director for additional clinical advice to see whether more flexibility can be built in that area. Once I have that advice, I will be able to say what that is.”