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Wed, 30 September 2020

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Nicola Sturgeon orders Aberdeen back into lockdown following spike in coronavirus cases

Nicola Sturgeon orders Aberdeen back into lockdown following spike in coronavirus cases

The First Minister has announced the reimposition of lockdown measures on Aberdeen

3 min read

Nicola Sturgeon has announced fresh lockdown restrictions for Aberdeen following a spike in coronavirus infections.

The First Minister said she was reintroducing the strict measures after 54 newly confirmed cases in the city sparked fears of a significant "significant outbreak".

The move comes after a cluster of infections were initially traced to several bars, with Ms Sturgeon saying more than 20 pubs and restaurants had now been linked to the flare-up.

And she confirmed that further transmission had occured within the community following the tracing of 121 contacts.

Speaking at the Scottish Government's daily coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon said all indoor and outdoor hospitality venues have been told to close by 5pm on Wednesday, while people have been asked not to enter each other's homes.

Meanwhile a five-mile travel limit has also been introduced within the Aberdeen City Council area for leisure purposes, with people outside the city asked not to visit.

And she said while she was "extremely reluctant" to order the reimposing of lockdown on the city, she hoped the measures would help to "stamp out" the outbreak.

"These regulations and the associated guidance and advice will be reviewed in seven days’ time, by which time I hope we will be in a better position to judge the scale and the trajectory of this outbreak," the SNP leader said.

"And at that point if these restrictions can be removed, we will remove them in their entirety or in part.

"But I should also give notice that if it is considered necessary, we may extend them beyond the initial seven-day period."

Responding to the news, Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn said: "The increased number of cases of Covid-19 in Aberdeen is another reminder that this virus has not gone away, and we must all remain vigilant. It remains extremely infectious and, of course, it remains extremely dangerous.

“All of of us have a part to play in denying this virus the opportunities to spread or we run the risk of undoing some of the progress made thanks to the overwhelming majority of people in Aberdeen following the guidelines."

Meanwhile, CBI Scotland Director Tracy Black urged the Scottish Government to provide extra support for firms impacted by the second lockdown.

"While this news will come as a disappointment to many people and businesses, it’s essential that we keep on top of the virus and public safety must come first," she said.

“Aberdeen won’t be the last local area that faces renewed restrictions in the coming months, so the Scottish Government must do everything it can to provide clear, timely advice and appropriate support to firms and individuals.

"That’s a must to maintain public confidence.

"This will be a particular blow to the local hospitality sector, which has now faced a double-whammy of lockdowns, and emphasises the need for government support to evolve in-line with the trajectory of the virus."

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Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

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