Among the announcements made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was the relaxation of the five-mile limit on travel for leisure purposes from today.
Several local businesses hope the move will boost tourism, with Scots who are craving a change of scenery after three months in lockdown considering a break – or even just a meal – elsewhere in the country.
Jillian Millar, of the McGinty’s Group, said: “McGinty’s will be looking to really talk up the city, push people out for staycations and make Aberdeen a place to come and visit.
“If people are going to be taking a holiday, and they’re thinking about a staycation in Scotland, we’re going to be pushing people to come to our city and use our venues to eat, drink, and even stay over.”
Linda Wright, owner of the Newmachar Hotel, said: “Many of our customers do travel further than five miles to come to us.
“We’re on the road that goes out to Oldmeldrum, Banff and Turriff, and a lot of our clients come from there, so that’s good news. The wider the net the better for us.”
Thursday’s other big distance-related news – the relaxation of the two-metre rule – has also been hailed as a boost for tourism by industry chiefs.
Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) chief executive Marc Crothall said the announcement was “the news that the industry has been eagerly anticipating”.
He added: “The recent research that the STA undertook revealed that the majority of businesses in the tourism sector would be economically unsustainable if the two-metre physical distancing rule remained.
“Today’s news will mean that many hundreds of businesses that had not planned to reopen may now reconsider and plan to do so.”
Moray Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sarah Medcraf also believed that relaxing the two-metre rule would represent “a big step towards helping the sector”.
However, she added: “We need to ensure that businesses are not felt obliged to do one way or another and they do what is right for their business and layout.
“This has never been about pounds before people, but many of the business models simply don’t survive on two-metre rules.
“We need to trust the businesses to make the most informed choice and consumers need to respect their decision and take responsibility for themselves.
“This collective effort will support the industry when it needs it most”