Julia Bryce was out and about to see what nightlife looks like on the streets of Aberdeen under the new regulations…
It was a case of more cars than people in Aberdeen’s city centre tonight as the first nationwide 10pm curfew came into effect.
Usually bustling with revellers making their way to their next watering hole, tonight there appeared to be more taxis than people queuing in the designated ranks with the streets considerably quieter than usual on a Friday evening.
Bars, restaurants and takeaways shut up shop bang on time in accordance with the new Scottish and UK Government restrictions, with the majority of customers making their exit ahead of the 10pm closure.
On Tuesday the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that, from tonight, all hospitality trade must close by 10pm to help reduce the risk of the coronavirus pandemic spreading.
At the briefing she warned of the possibility of closing down the hospitality sector again if new rules are not complied with. The decision was made to “reduce the amount of time people are able to spend in licensed premises”.
While the majority led the way in good social distancing practice, it was clear that more than two households were gathering in groups of more than six from time to time in the city centre tonight, notably youths who had congregated on the streets.
Most individuals out were spotted out in groups of two or four and the majority of the businesses were extremely quiet by 9.30pm, with Italian restaurant Amarone appearing to be one of the preferred venues with customers.
On Belmont Street Siberia Bar & Hotel and the Wild Boar were notably the busiest venues, with very few revellers making their way from Revolution, Revolucion de Cuba or the Triple Kirks after 9.45pm.
These bars are some of the most popular in the city centre usually, however, appeared quiet, even at closing time tonight. With students told to stay away from bars and restaurants this weekend, the numbers were notably down.
Masks were seen to be worn by many of the punters when exiting venues, with the majority keeping them on while walking up the road.
Police Scotland’s Chief Constable, Iain Livingstone had reported increased staff would be deployed across Scotland last night to support colleagues from local authorities, however, only four officers were seen between 9.30pm and 10.30pm in the vicinity of Union Street and Belmont Street. Three police cars were also spotted within the timeframe.
Drunk and disorderly behaviour was minimal – something the early curfew was aiming to achieve – with just a few individuals behaving rowdily on Union Street. Two men were spotted urinating on Belmont Street and were dealt with by police on patrol.
Takeaways also seemed very quiet, with the majority of owners standing outside their venues by 10pm. Most pub lights were off my 10.20-10.40pm.