Coronavirus: Lockdown restrictions reimposed in Aberdeen following spike

Video report by ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith

Lockdown restrictions are to be reimposed in Aberdeen following a spike in coronavirus cases, Scotland's first minister has announced.

Nicola Sturgeon, speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, said a cluster of 54 coronavirus cases had been identified in Aberdeen, with more than 20 other pubs and restaurants thought to be involved.

As such, Ms Sturgeon said all indoor and outdoor hospitality must close by 5pm on Wednesday.

The cluster has led to a greater fear among health experts that Aberdeen was experiencing a “significant outbreak” of coronavirus.

Some 191 contacts have been traced in relation to the cluster, but Ms Sturgeon added the number was expected to rise throughout the day.

The first minister said the restrictions, which will be enforced in the Aberdeen City Council area, were reimposed "extremely reluctantly".

Among the restrictions is a five-mile travel rule and residents are being told not to enter each other’s houses.

The new rules will be backed by governmental regulations, the First Minister said, and will be enforced if they are not followed.

She acknowledged she was sharing ”deeply, deeply unwelcome news” but provided some hope of a swift change in policy if cases fall.

She said the changes will be reviewed next Wednesday, when she hoped they could be removed entirely or in part.

However, if necessary, Ms Sturgeon said they could be extended beyond the seven-day period.

There have been no coronavirus deaths in Scotland for the 20th day in a row, Ms Sturgeon told the media briefing, and restrictions have been imposed in an attempt to carry on the positive trend.

“Our precautionary and careful judgement is that we need to take decisive action now, difficult as that undoubtedly is, in order to try to contain this outbreak and prevent further harm later on," she said.

She added: “Acting now, we judge, gives us the time and the space to protect the ability of our young people to return to education.”

The first minister said hotel restaurants will be allowed to remain open under the new rules, but to provide food for residents only. She added that takeaway restaurants can continue.