Aberdeen’s local lockdown is being lifted over the next few days. This follows on from a row between Aberdeen City Council’s co-leaders and the Scottish Government on 20th August with the council co-leaders arguing against the decision not to lift restrictions at that time.
Liberal Democrats in Aberdeen have said there must be no place for politics in decisions about the city’s local lockdown. A lockdown is not a game of chess. It is only imposed when absolutely necessary in order to get Covid-19 back under control and to keep people safe. Decisions on how and when restrictions are lifted needs to be based on medical and scientific guidance.
Commenting on the lifting of the local lockdown Councillor Yuill said, “The decision by the Scottish Government to end Aberdeen’s local lockdown is welcome. Every day the lockdown continued – necessary though that was – damaged local businesses, jobs, and Aberdeen’s economy”.
“The commitment of people in Aberdeen to sticking to the local lockdown rules and the hard work of NHS staff has driven down the Coronavirus infection rate to a point where it is now possible to end the local lockdown”.
“Every single person and business in Aberdeen must continue to stick to all the rules and guidelines to minimise the risk of a further Coronavirus outbreak in Aberdeen. A further outbreak, with the attached risk of a further local lockdown, would be disastrous for our city and its economy.”
Changes announced on 23rd August were as follows:-
▶︎ Restrictions on visiting people indoors lifted from 24 August
▶︎ Limitations on care home and hospital visits lifted from 24 August
▶︎ Five mile limit on non-essential travel lifted from 24 August
▶︎ Organised outdoor contact sports, some outdoor live events, driving lessons, child contact centres, face-to-face advice services, bingo halls, amusement arcades and casinos, snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling and both static and travelling funfairs can re-open – subject to strict adherence to guidance and appropriate safety measures such as physical distancing with effect from 24 August.
However, this excludes any hospitality element within them (see next item)
▶︎ Restaurants, pubs, casinos and other hospitality businesses can open from 26 August subject to environmental health checks.
The Scottish Government has not ruled out extending restrictions if necessary to protect public health.
Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “The lifting of restrictions on meeting people indoors and on hospital and care home visits will mean so much to so many people who have once again been cut off from family and friends as a result of the reckless behaviour of others. Lets all work together to ensure this never happens again”.
“In our family we have adopted Preston’s “Don’t kill Granny” motto. When we visit elderly relatives we wear face coverings in communal areas and when entering their homes until we reach the living room and able to maintain a safe 2m distance. In the end it’s all about keeping those we love safe so that once this is all over, they are still around to enjoy a visit”.
“In my view it’s still too soon for pubs to be permitted to re-open, given recent experiences. Keeping our schools open and being able to visit elderly and disabled family members ranks so much higher on my list.”
“However, previous guidance, which was not always adhered to, is now being backed by enforcement powers and fines, so lets just hope that’s enough to reinforce the need for adherence to the remaining restrictions and avoid any further local lockdowns”.