Lockdown restrictions are being reimposed in Aberdeen due to a coronavirus cluster in the city, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
Pubs and restaurants closed at 17:00 on Wednesday (yesterday).
People are being told not to travel to Aberdeen, and those living in the city face travel restrictions.
Speaking in Edinburgh on Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon said the rise in cases heightens fears the Scottish Government is ‘dealing with a significant outbreak in Aberdeen that may include some community transmission
The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) described the Scottish Government’s imposed lockdown in Aberdeen as a “bitter blow” for the area and an industry that has only just started to rebuild following months of closure.
Colin Wilkinson, SLTA managing director, said: “Responsible operators, as demonstrated by The Hawthorn Bar, have gone above and beyond to comply with the guidance that was put in place by the Government to allow the industry to reopen, and some operators also demonstrated their commitment by voluntary closing their premises before the First Minister’s announcement today.
“Obviously the forced closure was not a decision taken lightly by Government. The SLTA acknowledges the fragile situation we are all operating in and we cannot emphasise enough the need for everyone to adhere to the guidance, businesses, staff and customers alike. All premises must also operate the Test and Protect scheme which is so important in stopping the spread of the virus.
“The outcome in Aberdeen reflects the difficulties faced by a ‘social’ industry operating in these unprecedented times and highlights the need for ongoing sector-specific support through an extension of the furlough scheme plus additional grant aid for the industry’s survival – and for the protection of the jobs it provides.
“There can be no doubt that customers also have their part to play and the SLTA asks those heading to, visiting our pubs and bars, and returning home, to comply with the necessary restrictions that are now in place.
“Responsible operators in our industry will continue to do everything they can to provide as safe an environment as possible for all customers who visit our pubs and bars.”