The Journey Back To Normality Begins Here…

Aberdeen and most of Scotland is moving from covid restriction Level 3 to Level 2. Some of the main changes are as follows:-

  • 6 people from up to 3 households can meet indoors
  • Cafes, pubs and restaurants with indoor facilities can open
  • 6 people from up to 3 households can meet in an indoor cafe, pub or restaurant
  • Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can open
  • 8 people from 8 households can meet outdoors
  • Tourist accommodation and visitor attractions can open
  • You can travel anywhere in the UK with the exception of Level 3 or Level 4 areas
  • Overseas travel is permitted to a limited number of countries (referred to as the blue list) without the need to quarantine on your return but be aware that the status of countries can change at short notice as we’ve seen in the past.

Commenting on the easing of Covid-19 restrictions from 17th May, Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney said,

I’m sure everyone will welcome the latest moves to ease some of the more severe covid restrictions from Monday. We all want to get back to something resembling normality as soon as it’s safe to do so. For me, like so many other people, the ability to reconnect with family and friends remains the top priority.

However, my own view, for what it’s worth, remains that just because we can do something doesn’t mean we have to! It’s all about being sensible when mixing with vulnerable people. It does no harm to wear a face covering in confined spaces during an indoor visit and to remove it when suitably distanced. Same goes for passing gatherings of people outdoors.

Everyone needs to make their own judgements as to what’s needed to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and the level of additional measures you may or may not choose to put in place is likely to depend on the vulnerability and vaccination status of yourself and others.

My main concern with the easing to Level 2 is the opening up of international air travel. I fully understand the difficulties the ban on international flights has caused to those who have family living overseas. I too have family and friends overseas.

However, the opening up of international air travel before we have offered the vaccine to everyone will undoubtedly result in new variants getting into (and out of) the UK and there’s always a risk that our vaccinations may not protect against one of these future variants.

Our vaccination programme is going well, but the sooner we are able to offer the vaccine to everyone, including children (following the normal stringent safety checks) the better. And any overstock of vaccines need to be used to offer protection to people in other countries which may not ordinarily be given access to them. As well as being the right thing to do from a humanitarian point of view, we won’t all be 100% safe until the whole world’s safe.

However, despite my very typically cautionary note, as you look towards Monday, enjoy the return of some of your normal freedoms of life and enjoy the company of family and friends but stay safe and keep your loved ones safe too. We’re maybe not quite out of the woods yet, but there’s certainly good cause for a lot more more optimism looking at the weeks and the months ahead.

An extensive list of what is and is not permitted under newly revised Level 2 restrictions can be downloaded as a PDF here. A briefer summary can be viewed online here.