Police will have extra officers patrolling the streets of Aberdeen to urge compliance with new lockdown rules in the city.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a blanket closure of all pubs, restaurants and cafes in the Granite City this lunchtime.
She also introduced a ban on travelling more than five miles, except for work or educational purposes, and said people should not visit each others’ homes.
Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr said the local officers would call upon resources from across the country if “necessary to protect and support” people in Aberdeen.
He added: “Throughout the response to the pandemic, the majority of the public followed the law and Scottish Government advice.
“I realise that this situation will be frustrating for people in the affected area but it’s really important that we all continue to do so.
“Our officers will continue to explain the legislation and guidance but, for the minority who may choose to breach the regulations and risk the health of others, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action where appropriate.”
Before taking enforcement action, the deputy chief constable said officers would “engage, educate and encourage people” to comply with government instructions and guidance to stop the spread of the virus.
Mr Kerr said: “To support that, we will have additional patrols in Aberdeen, where local restrictions have been reintroduced.
The first of a number of officers from our Flexible Response Unit are on their way to support local officers in Aberdeen, where local lockdown restrictions have been reintroduced by @ScotGov. pic.twitter.com/XBDB39Xl4j
— North East Police (@NorthEPolice) August 5, 2020
“As a national service, Police Scotland is able to quickly flex capacity to support local communities across the country, and we will provide whatever additional resources are necessary to protect and support the communities affected.
“The chief constable has made it consistently clear that we all should take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.”
The setback in the relaxation of lockdown in Aberdeen follows a steep rise in the number of coronavirus cases.
A cluster of four virus-positive patients were linked to The Hawthorn Bar in Holburn Street initially.
But now 54 people, and nearly 30 licensed premises, have been linked to the outbreak.
The Grampian area accounted for more than half of all new cases in Scotland announced today.