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Removal of social distancing measures in Peterhead come in for criticism as case numbers rise

Spaces for People measures in Marischal Street, Peterhead.. Peterhead. Supplied by Ben Hendry Date; 05/12/2020
Spaces for People measures in Marischal Street, Peterhead.. Peterhead. Supplied by Ben Hendry Date; 05/12/2020

The removal of social distanding measures in Peterhead at a time when the town is battling high infection rates has been condemned as a “political decision” that makes “no sense”.

Barriers put in place to create wider pavements as part of Aberdeenshire Council’s Spaces for People project this summer have been removed with only the new 20 mph speed limit in place.

And though the move suits shopkeepers, town councillor Stephen Calder has blasted the decision.

“Peterhead has the highest Covid levels in the north-east and it’s rising,” he said.

“The Spaces for People exit strategy was only meant to kick in when levels were reducing. I can’t understand it. It’s a political decision being taken by the council.

“I am in Queen Street every day and there’s no way now to maintain the two metre distance, instead were are now inches apart especially during school lunchtime. It’s just impossible.”

He added that of Peterhead’s nine schools, only one primary has remained virus-free, and that all of the town’s fish factories have experienced outbreaks.

“I think the council only see if from the point of view of business and shop owners,” Mr Calder said.

“It’s just not safe to take away the barriers at this time.”

Aberdeenshire Council said the decision was taken following local engagement and in line with national guidance and NHS Public Health advice.

A spokesman added: “Changes to the measures was deemed the most appropriate course of action.

“The extent of the removals has been entirely dependent on the outcome of those discussions and does vary from town to town.”

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