Lockdown restrictions are being reimposed in Aberdeen following a sharp spike in infections in the region, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today.
Pubs and restaurants will be among venues to close from 5pm today as part of the containment measures.
Aberdeen residents will be told not to go to one another’s houses, as Scotland scrambles to contain a fresh outbreak in the city.
Sturgeon said there had been 54 cases in the “significant outbreak” and that the cluster had now involved community transmissions.
Travel to the city will be banned with immediate effect, while travel out of the city is not advised.
Those living in the area have been told not to travel more than five miles for leisure purposes, though travel for work or education is permitted.
Sturgeon said Scotland had “extremely reluctantly” agreed to reimpose the restrictions after discussions with NHS Grampian, Police Scotland and the city council.
The First Minister added that the new measures will be reviewed in a week’s time, adding that she hoped they would either be wholly or partly lifted.
However, in a stark warning of further social distancing measures not he horizon, Sturgeon said the fresh lockdown could be extended beyond that seven-day period.
“This virus hasn’t gone away. If you doubted that, then today we have evidence of how true that is,” she said.
The Scottish leader said a list of the 20 licensed venues involved in the outbreak would be published later today, urging all customers who have visited the pubs recently to be “extra vigilant”.
She added that businesses will be able to re-furlough staff affected by the new lockdown, and that the Scottish government will look at additional financial measures to help.
It comes after the UK government last week introduced fresh lockdown restrictions in the north of England following a sharp spike in infections.
More than 4.5m people in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire were last night banned from meeting other households indoors.
Health secretary Matt Hancock described the move as “absolutely necessary”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was time to “squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep the virus under control,” warning that he would not hesitate to reimpose lockdown restrictions on a local “or indeed national level”.