Thousands of people returned to Aberdeen city centre today as non-essential retailers reopened their doors.
Stores with an entrance facing onto a street were allowed to open under the latest easing of lockdown restrictions.
Some had queuing systems in place to take advantage of the additional pedestrian space created by the Spaces for People initiative.
Areas around the city, including part of Union Street and nearby streets, are having temporary works installed to allow people to walk, cycle, and queue for buses while adhering to physical distancing guidance.
Aberdeen City Council was awarded a £1.76 million grant from the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People fund to carry out the works.
Aberdeen City Council transport spokeswoman Councillor Sandra Macdonald said: “It was great to see more people in the city centre again, bringing the area to life as some shops were given the green light to reopen.
“As it gets busier in the days and weeks ahead, we are asking people to continue to be considerate of others when walking, cycling, wheeling or driving about.
“Motorists should also plan their journey ahead, to avoid Union Street, before driving to city centre car parks.
“We want people to enjoy being able to come back into the city centre again and to feel safe doing so. We have implemented measures to make physical distancing possible and we look forward to more shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants reopening in the coming weeks.”
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “It’s been great to see people come back into the city in number today, with the re-opening of our non-essential shops.
“You can already see how the important it was for the Council to pursue the ‘Spaces for People’ national funding to allow the public to return safely.
“The businesses opening today have been very responsible in their approach and have been delighted to get going and welcome the customers in. We look forward to seeing numbers build and more businesses open in the coming days and weeks.”
Motorists who are coming into the city centre are advised to plan their journey in advance by taking appropriate routes which avoid Union Street to access city centre car parks.
People walking, cycling, wheeling and driving about the city have been asked to be considerate to each other as more shops reopen along with bars, cafes and restaurants in the coming weeks.
The messaging asks people to look after themselves and those in their care, stay in their local area and plan ahead and be mindful of others when walking, wheeling and cycling – particularly with regard for disabled people, older people and more vulnerable groups.
It is hoped the the works will help protect public health by reducing Covid-19 transmission in the city which will in turn reduce the number of cases NHS Grampian’s contact tracing team have to cope with, making their intervention easier and more effective.