The apology from NHS Grampian changes nothing, according to one restaurant boss who found his establishment on the Covid-19 list earlier this week.
And an Aberdeen bar boss added she feels the pub industry in the city had been “railroaded”.
The list, released by NHS Grampian on Wednesday, featured more than 30 pubs, restaurants, hotels and sporting venues across the city and Aberdeenshire – many who had not been contacted ahead of its publication.
Brian McLeish, owner of the Moonfish Cafe, said he still hadn’t been contacted, more than 48 hours after the list was published.
He said: “I think the apology was needed. The letter was shared in an irresponsible way.
“Saying that, I’ve still not been contacted over 48 hours later.
“It doesn’t change anything, does it?
“We still have customers calling us and we can’t help them, we still can’t tell them what’s happening.
“I’m not overly worried about the staff or customers we’ve had because we’re happy with the procedures we’ve got in place.
“But I’d still like to touch base with someone. It’s irresponsible to share that list and then not follow up.”
And Kat Slynn, owner of O’Donoghues on Justice Mill Lane, said she believed the pub industry had been “railroaded.”
She said: “Obviously the news about the Hawthorne Bar was all over social media and the news. We thought we might need to close for a couple of weeks when we saw that, but we decided to see how the week went.
“On Wednesday all the pubs had to close by 5pm which was fine, but then my phone started going mad when the list of pubs came out.
“We hadn’t heard anything, we still haven’t been contacted.
“I’ve emailed the council, I’ve emailed environmental health and the LSOs. I’ve got staff that need to know if they need to self-isolate.
“We’ve had customers phoning and emailing and Facebook messaging asking what date it was, but we don’t know, I’ve not been told anything.
“The first I heard was when I got a Facebook message from someone who said they had been in, they were in the Hawthorne Bar on the 26th with people who lived together, they left and went to Ferryhill House Hotel, Justice Mill and then O’Donoghues, and tested positive on Monday last week.
“They said they were shocked no one had contacted them as they told Test and Trace where they had been and even had to spell out O’Donoghues.
“If we’d known we would have closed our doors, but we’ve been open for a week serving customers and we’ve been busy.
“We would have self-isolated, we would have done everything. I just feel like the industry is being railroaded. We all want to get our lives back to normal as soon as possible. We weren’t even told, we saw it on NHS Grampian’s Facebook page. It’s just mental.
“The guidance is so scattery, we were being told different information from three official authorities.
“It’s a lot of hard work, we’ve been temperature checking staff every shift change, and washing hands every 30 minutes whether there’s customers or not. We’ve been cleaning bathrooms every 15 minutes because we want to be safe.
“I saw the NHS apology and about 10 minutes later I got an email from Aberdeen City Council’s environmental health protective services to apologise, they were in the dark as much as I was.
“I still haven’t heard from NHS Grampian or test and protect.”
In a statement yesterday, NHS Grampian has “apologised unreservedly” to venues across the city who weren’t contacted before publishing the premises linked to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The health board said: “We worked hard to communicate directly with those venues in advance of publishing the list and apologise unreservedly to those we did not reach.
“We know this has led to a great deal of anxiety for these businesses, their staff and their customers.
“We are ensuring this communication is taking place and appropriate support is being provided by ourselves and our local authority partners as appropriate.”