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‘Different views’ remain after crunch talks on ending Aberdeen lockdown

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It remains unclear what will come of a review into Aberdeen’s local lockdown this afternoon after crunch talks ended in stalemate.

Council leaders met with Scottish Government officials this morning to make the case for the restrictions to be relaxed.

Aberdeen lockdown to be partially lifted at midnight, it is understood

It is understood that no agreement could be reached after two hours.

Between the council and government staff, neither the first minister or any of her ministers were on the call.

This morning’s meeting was expected to produce recommendations to go before ministers this afternoon – but a consensus was not reached.

It is not yet known when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will make a statement on the local lockdown, now in its third week.

As she extended it, reportedly against the recommendations of the local health experts on the incident management team (IMT), she promised a midweek review today.

REGIONAL BREAKDOWN: 83 new Covid-19 cases across Scotland – including three in Grampian

Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden told The P&J: “There are still some different views on the approach that should be taken; we’re still trying to get some agreement.

“We were putting the case forward the health experts should not be ignored and we should follow their advice that restrictions should lifted.

“Statistics show our infection rate is now to be around the national average so if restrictions don’t get lifted now we’re in line with everyone else, then God knows when they would be.

“It makes me really angry that Aberdeen businesses are being treated unfairly.

“We have infection rates elsewhere in the country that are much higher than ours and we have heard from health professionals that the Aberdeen outbreak is completely under control.

“It doesn’t feel right that we are the ones with restrictions when it’s others with higher infection rates.”

It comes as three more people tested positive for the virus in Grampian within the last 24 hours, compared to 37 within the NHS Tayside region.

The IMT’s report reportedly recommended restrictions be lifted for ‘low risk’ venues, such as cafes, yesterday.

The forced closure of pubs and restaurants would have followed on Wednesday.

Nearly three weeks ago, the government introduced the local measures – including closure of all hospitality venues, and a ban on travelling more than five miles or gathering indoors – after a cluster of coronavirus cases was traced through the city’s pubs.

Yesterday NHS Grampian said 254 people had been linked to the outbreak – as existing cases previously thought to be unrelated were traced to the affected nightspots.

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