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Aberdeen’s Soul Bar ‘truly sorry’ for breakdown in social distancing days before second lockdown

Queues outside Soul Bar, Aberdeen.
Queues outside Soul Bar, Aberdeen.

An Aberdeen bar has said it is “truly sorry” for the breakdown in social distancing in the days before the city was put back into lockdown.

Soul Bar in Aberdeen city centre released a statement today saying a review of their operating procedures has “highlighted some important lessons for us to learn”.

The statement said: “Over the last couple of weeks we have taken some time to reflect. We have conducted an internal investigation to review our Covid-19 operating procedures. This has highlighted some important lessons for us to learn.

“The biggest lessons of all are drawn from the procedures that led to a breakdown in social distancing during our busiest times. We acknowledge that we underestimated how much of a challenge this would be, and for that we are truly sorry.

“As social distancing is likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future, getting it right will be crucial to the recovery of Aberdeen’s local trade. As a popular city centre venue, we recognise our responsibility to staff and customers, but equally to other businesses which are such an important part of the city’s culture and economy.

“For that reason, if the First Minister announces that venues can reopen later this week, you won’t see us rushing to open the doors.

“We have brought a team of external health and safety consultants on board – with significant public health and hospitality experience – to support our team over the coming weeks. The consultants will lead the development of new procedures and run extensive training sessions with our team.

“One of our key considerations is how we protect our staff in these uncertain times. Only after the new recommendations have been implemented and training has been completed by everyone, will we begin to reopen in a phased way.

“We promise to be open and transparent about our plans. That means publishing details here and on our website for everyone to see over the coming days.

“We are doing everything we can to reopen safely, but there is work to do before that can happen. In the meantime, we want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.”

It comes after SNP MP Stephen Flynn tweeted photos of people queuing outside Aberdeen city centre venues after a cluster of Covid-19 was discovered at the Hawthorn Bar.

The MP said he was “scunnered” by the images, which showed dozens of people queuing to enter pubs in the city.

Retweeting the images, Nicola Sturgeon described the scenes as “dangerous”, adding “Spot on from @StephenFlynnSNP – Covid remains a real and present threat to our health and wellbeing.”



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