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CONFIRMED: Aberdeen lockdown to be partially lifted at midnight

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Restrictions placed on travel and indoor gatherings in Aberdeen are to be lifted from midnight, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

Crunch talks have been ongoing today as council bosses tried to convince the government to lift the locally-imposed lockdown.

This evening the first minister also announced cafes, pubs and restaurants would be allowed to reopen on Wednesday.

But – they will only be allowed to welcome customers back once an environmental health check has been completed.

Visiting restrictions at city hospitals and care homes will no longer be in force tomorrow either.

Other businesses will now open in line with the rest of Scotland, meaning gyms and leisure facilities are in line to open a week today.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I am grateful to people in Aberdeen – the local authority and health board, local businesses, and everyone who lives there – for complying so well with the rules that were put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“In particular I am grateful for the understanding of the businesses that were required to close in order to help beat the virus.

“It’s due to the commitment of people in the city, as well as world class contact tracing that means we are now able to lift some of these measures from Monday and then again from Wednesday, but it is vitally important that everyone follows the FACTS rules in order to prevent an outbreak of this scale occurring again.

“That way we can move forward and get our economy, our society and our lives generally back to as much normality as possible.”

Earlier today talks between council bosses and government officials ended at stalemate after two hours.

The SGORR meeting included representatives from the local authority, NHS Grampian and Police Scotland, drawing upon an update from the local incident management team on the level of the virus and its transmission in Aberdeen.

The latest figures show a total of 427 cases have been identified in the north-east since July 26.

And 259 of those have been linked to the cluster of cases traced through the city’s pubs, which prompted the city-wide lockdown initially.

A total of 1,258 people were in close contact with someone linked to the pubs outbreak.

NHS Grampian director of public health Susan Webb said: “We must be cautious to ensure the progress we have made is maintained.

“Crucially, we must all be observing physical distancing from those not in our immediate household; whether at work, meeting socially, in a supermarket or out for exercise and recreation.

“It is also vitally important that anyone identified as a close contact of a detected case follows the guidance on isolating for 14 days.”

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