A lockdown has been announced for the Aberdeen area.
After chairing a resilience meeting, the need for “extreme caution” has proven necessary with the First Minister confirming three sets of restrictions for the city following a spike in Covid-19 cases.
The First Minister said: “Our travel guidance to people in Aberdeen from today is that you should no longer travel more than five miles for leisure or recreational purposes.
“You may continue to travel for work or education, but we advise against other travel.
“We are also advising people who are not in Aberdeen not to travel to Aberdeen. If you are already in Aberdeen visiting family or on holiday, you can stay, but please follow all of the guidance while you are there and take extra care when you return home.
“Secondly people in Aberdeen should not go into each others houses. Extended household groups can continue, but remember these are situations which should only involve one other adult living on their own.
“And finally we will be introducing regulations, wwe will publish these 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 put to provide food for residents only. And takeaway services can continue. But all pubs and restaurants and cafes must close.”
She added: “I understand the impact these measures will have on individuals and on businesses, but let me emphasise where a business has brought staff out of furlough, those staff can be re-furloughed as part of the jobs retention scheme.”
Ms Sturgeon added that the Government was looking into what additional support could be provided to businesses in the city.
She said: “The Scottish Government will be looking at whether or not there is additional measures we can take, and additional support we can provide.
“It was a point raised at the resilience meeting by Aberdeen City Council this morning, so we will be having further discussions around that.
“We will also be raising this issue with the UK Government because all parts of the UK will face these situations and the furlough scheme is still in place, but in two or three months from now will not be the case.
“So, we need to continue to have these discussions on an ongoing basis.”
Ms Sturgeon said the restrictions right now apply to Aberdeen city but there will be ongoing analysis of the Test and Protect data if it may be necessary to extend the restrictions to Aberdeenshire.
In the meantime, the advice is for anyone who has been in Aberdeen (particularly the nighttime economy) – pubs, a night out – “be extra vigilant” of being contacted by Trace and Protect.
If you are not, watch out for symptoms and making sure that you are rigorous to FACTS.
For businesses in the Shire, be really rigorous in the application of the safety measures you should be complying with: cleaning, PPE, details being taken.
She added: “It’s time to tighten up again,” when talking about the hospitality sector in particular.
A list of the 20 licence premises that are part of the contact tracing will be published later today on the Scottish Government website.
The number of Covid-19 cases linked to the bar has reached 54, with a 191 close contacts already traced, with the number set to rise.
Across the north-east a further 36 cases have been detected in the last 24 hours
She said the virus is “still out there and it is highly infectious” and added that the outbreak in Aberdeen is a “sharp reminder of that”.
The closure will be backed by governmental regulations, the First Minister said, and will be enforced if the rules are not followed.
The First Minister added that the changes will be reviewed next Wednesday, when she hoped that they could be removed if they could, either in entirety or in part.
However, if necessary, Ms Sturgeon has said that they could be extended beyond that seven-day period.
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