Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “Whilst we respect that public health is of paramount importance, the pandemic has and continues to accelerate the very real challenge to Aberdeen City Centre. The additional restrictions announced by the First Minister today, in addition to the continuation of home working, whilst understood, will have a very real knock-on effect.

“The impact on the retail and hospitality sectors has been, throughout the past six months, and continues to be, particularly tough. Restricting businesses operational hours will hit hospitality hard and retail continues to struggle due to a downturn in footfall, particularly from office staff home working. In addition to this, all the interdependencies that rely on these sectors will also be affected.

“The measures announced today will have wider implications and we are acutely aware of what this could mean for many businesses already on the line. City centres and high streets were already going through difficult times pre COVID-19 and further restrictions exacerbate the damage even more.

“As ever, Aberdeen Inspired is doing what it can to support our local businesses however we can. We would encourage members of the public, now more than ever, to continue to support city centre businesses, respecting and following all safety requirements.”