Following an increase in COVID-19 cases in Aberdeen, local restrictions on travel, indoor gatherings between households and the closure of indoor and outdoor hospitality will be introduced in the Aberdeen City local authority area.

Taking effect from 5pm on Wednesday, August 5, bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs will be required by law to close. Hotel restaurants can remain open to provide food for existing guests, and takeaway services can continue.

People in Aberdeen City are asked not to meet other households indoors or travel more than five miles for leisure or recreational purposes.

People can continue to travel for work, or education purposes. Visiting in hospitals and care homes will return to essential visits only.

The restrictions come as NHS Grampian have reported that as of 09:00 today there are now 54 positive cases of COVID-19 in the cluster associated with the Hawthorn Bar in Aberdeen. A total of 191 close contacts have been traced through Test & Protect.

More than 20 licensed premises have now been identified as being linked to people who have subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 and the outbreak is linked to the night time economy.

The Scottish Government is also advising people not to travel to Aberdeen while the restrictions are in place.

If people are already in Aberdeen visiting family or on holiday then they do not need to leave, but are asked to follow all the guidance and take extra care when returning home.

The current restrictions will be reviewed every seven days in discussion with local partners. The Scottish Government has not ruled out extending restrictions if necessary to protect public health.

In response, Dr Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“This will be very disappointing news for many businesses in Aberdeen who have just opened back up over the past few weeks and who were beginning to return to some form of normality.

“However, businesses will accept that it is imperative that local restrictions must come into force if we are to prevent any wider spread of cases from Aberdeen to other parts of Scotland. The health of our communities must come first.

“Further targeted government support will be required for all businesses affected, specifically those in indoor and outdoor hospitality who have been ordered to close tonight in Aberdeen.

“It is also vital that there is as clear communications and guidance from the government and local authority as possible. Collaboration and cooperation between business, government and agencies will be critical to provide clarity and provide support to help businesses mitigate further disruption.”