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‘I want to try everything’: Aberdeen turned out in numbers to celebrate restrictions easing

With hospitality now open indoors, not even the mixed Aberdeen weather could slow down the north-east’s plans.

For the first time since Christmas, doors opened and punters visited their favourite hospitality venues.

It comes as areas of the north and north-east move from level three restrictions to level 2, allowing vendors to bring customers in from the cold and back to normality.

With the change in restrictions, reunions took place across the city as loved ones met up for an afternoon pint, a cup of coffee and in some cases a long-overdue hug.

Union Street was a buzz with activity, people queued to get into shops, restaurants, cafes and their favourite drinking establishments.

New found freedom

Among those who reunited was Kinda Samara and her camera shy best friend.

The pair who had been out for a coffee and were in the process of hitting the shops within the Bon Accord centre said: “It was sunny and I just thought I am going out.

“I am as happy as a person who has just been let out of prison and has got their freedom back today.

“The first person I hugged was my best friend, she said we only saw each other the other week, but now I am allowed to hug her.

“She was saying all this time you have been waiting for permission, I was just giving her a lot of hugs and kisses.”

Kinda Samara out in Aberdeen</p> <p>

After meeting up with her best friend, the 50-year-old’s plans were to soak up as much of this new found freedom as she could.

She added: “I will be doing everything, I went into every shop I like, its pleasure and I want to enjoy this freedom.”

Hospitality ready for normality

With people rushing to get out and explore aspects of life that just over a year ago would have been taken for granted.

It is easy to forget that people behind hospitality establishments have also had to readjust and adapt to the pandemic.

Aberdonian Leya McKay, was keen to see her friends indoors and get back to her job as a waitress and the new challenges that might present.

Leya McKay</p> <p>

The 22-year-old said: “Today i’m just out for a bit of shopping and I plan on heading to a cafe and having a little seat.

“The rest of the week, I will definitely make plans to go to the pub with my friends.

“I think the biggest impact for me will be going back to work, with people coming in for drinks and stuff it will be hectic.

“Work wise we are a bit stressed out but personally it is really exciting to go out and have things feel a bit more normal again.”

Something to smile about

While many of us have had the chance to meet up outdoors, the opportunity to sit in the warmth with family and friends has given us all something to smile about.

None more so than 51-year-old, Christopher Mulloy who was taking in the mixed bag that is Aberdeen’s weather alongside his girlfriend.

Christopher Mulloy.</p> <p>

He said: “I met my girlfriend and we went for a coffee, did some shopping and wandered about trying not to spend money.

“Its so much easier the fact that I can now go out, spend time with people and not be stuck behind doors looking at four walls all day.

“I will be going to visit my grandmother, she’s blind and it will be driving her nuts to be inside – definitely be giving her a hug when I can.

“Then get out to Inverurie to the bowling alley to have a few games with the family.”

Ready for even more restrictions to be eased

While the majority of people are excited for restrictions to ease, some are keen for the journey back to normal to speed up even further.

Rick Douglas</p> <p>

Rick Douglas from Bucksburn said: “I managed to come into town to just get out of the house.

“It feels good, but it would be better if things were to open up quicker because people will follow the rules but only for so long as they will get fed up – its been long enough now if we went back into a lockdown people would not be happy.”

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