Late-night drinkers and diners across the north-east have been dealing with the first curfew introduced to battle the spread of Covid-19
First minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the new restrictions on Tuesday at the Scottish Parliament.
She warned further restrictions, including possible closures, will be “unavoidable” if social distancing and other measures are not followed.
However, the Scottish Hospitality Group’s Stephen Montgomery warned that taking away late-night customers would have a “critical impact” on the industry.
Council officials in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire were out to make sure pubs, bars and restaurants were complying with the new rules.
They have been working alongside police this weekend to make sure the rules are being adhered to.
Extra police patrols are in place across the country to enforce the new coronavirus measures alongside the local authorities.
A city council spokeswoman said that following the local hospitality lockdown last month they have been working with premises to make sure they are taking safety measures.
She said: “A comprehensive assurance programme was put in place for the lifting of local restrictions in Aberdeen which involved the assessment of every hospitality establishment. Since then, we have continued to work with the hospitality sector including proactive visits which has involved officers working evenings and weekends.
“We will have officers working on Friday and Saturday night to monitor compliance and we will continue to work closely with Police Scotland as it too is an enforcing authority in relation to these requirements.”
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said they have already found a “high degree” of licensed premises are complying with the changes ahead of the curfew coming into force.
The spokesman said: “Our protective services team which includes environmental health, trading standards and civic licensing standards officers are working in partnership with Police Scotland to monitor the new arrangements.
“We hold regular meetings to exchange information and allocate resources as effectively and efficiently as possible, with an operational plan having been agreed for these specific restrictions.
“It must be stressed that throughout the Covid-19 restrictions, both the council’s Protective Services Team and Police Scotland have been in regular contact with the hospitality sector and have found a high degree of compliance and co-operation. Support and guidance have been provided to the hospitality sector leading up to this weekend.”
Speaking at yesterday’s Scottish Government Covid-19 briefing, Police Scotland’s chief constable Iain Livingstone said the “vast majority” of licensees had been following the curfew rules.
He said the force would work alongside the hospitality sector to make sure during a “very challenging period.”
Mr Livingstone said: “Over the weekend, pubs and restaurants must close at 10pm. Additional officers will be deployed across Scotland to support colleagues from Local Authorities and to monitor compliance.
“It’s important for me to say, the vast majority of licensees have acted with great responsibility during a very challenging period. I pay credit to them and policing will support and work with licensed trade.
“Officers will continue to use good sense and exercise the discretion that is integral to the office of Constable, working with the citizens we serve to support the implementation of these new rules.”