Aberdeen leaders have urged the public to remain vigilant as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.
Jenny Laing and Douglas Lumsden said the city’s parks and recreational areas were busy with visitors, drawn by the good weather over the weekend.
But the city council co-leaders said the move into Phase 1 of the Scottish Government’s “route map” should in no way be regarded as a relaxing of vigilance.
They called for the public to adhere to health and hygiene rules to make sure they were protected from coronavirus.
The leaders said in their blog that the city has at least “rediscovered its sparkle and smile”.
They said: “What is less obvious is the enormous amount of work that has gone into readying Aberdeen for the journey ahead.
“In a sense the launch of the route map, hugely welcome though it is, presents us as a local authority with as many challenges as the lockdown did. The priority then was to ensure our most vulnerable residents were protected and supported, and to halt the spread of Covid-19 and stop health services being overwhelmed.
“As we enter the recovery stage, the health and wellbeing of people remains the overriding priority, but the public will increasingly look to us to manage the safe transition back to normality. Preparing for the re-opening of schools in August, recycling, grass cutting, helping activity resume in the city centre and businesses restart – the list is long, but the work is already well under way.
In truth, the council’s contribution has never really stopped. We have continued to carry out emergency road repairs, for example, but routine maintenance had to be paused in response to Covid-19 lockdown rules. There is therefore a backlog. Similarly, for grass “cutting.
“Taking another example, opening up the city centre is a massively complex task. The period between applying for the necessary funding and being given the green light was but a matter of days.
“There will be frustrations as measures to preserve physical distancing in line with government guidance are put in place. We may not get everything right and that’s why we have launched a consultation, so we can constantly learn and improve.”
The leaders added that the nation’s response had revealed the “basic decency” in people who showed compassion and patience.
They said: “As a society we will have to be more tolerant. Ready to queue in shops, to wait longer for appointments. To be more understanding about how public services are delivered and the constraints, financial and operational, all local authorities face. We needed to be prepared to do more for ourselves and our neighbours.”
More information about the work the council is doing can be found at: https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/coronavirus-covid-19/route-map-easing-lockdown-restrictions