Important Coronavirus Information For Residents of Aberdeen City

Aberdeen City Coronsvirus

Following an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Aberdeen, local advice on travel and indoor gatherings between households has changed.

Measures have also been taken to close indoor and outdoor hospitality in the Aberdeen City local authority area, from 5pm on 5 August.

The regulations which stipulate the restrictions on hospitality and the associated guidance and advice were put in place on 5 August. After being reviewed on 12 August it has been decided that restrictions should remain in place, and will be reviewed again in 7 days.

People in Aberdeen City are asked not to travel more than 5 miles for leisure, recreation or non-essential purchases. This includes to take holidays in other parts of Scotland or the UK.

Non-essential overseas travel continues to be advised against.

People are advised not to travel to Aberdeen City for leisure purposes or to visit friends and family, unless part of an extended household, while the restrictions are in place

Travel for essential purposes, such as work that cannot be done from home, education or for medical treatment, may continue.

Those from outside Aberdeen City can transit though the city, for example transferring from a Ferry to Train/Bus/Air, provided Aberdeen City is not their final destination.

Businesses offering food or drink for consumption on the premises – such as pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes – must cease to offer this service.

Any outdoor seating such as tables or picnic areas next to a business counts as part of the premises, whether provided by the business or not.

Businesses are permitted to sell food or drink to take away, provided it is consumed off the premises.

Hotels and accommodation providers can offer room service, but must close hotel bars. Hotel restaurants may only open to provide food to staff and guests of the hotel.

Other sectors should continue to follow Phase 3 guidance, and be extra vigilant about hygiene and physical distancing.

The number of venues linked to the Aberdeen outbreak cluster is now 32 and are listed below.  Anyone who attended any of the locations names need to be extra vigilant, to follow all guidance and to isolate and book a test if they have any symptoms:

  • Bieldside Inn
  • Bobbin
  • Brewdog (Castlegate)
  • Buckie Farm Carvery
  • Café Andaluz
  • Café Dag
  • Café Drummond
  • The Cock and Bull
  • College Bar
  • The Dutch Mill
  • Dyce Carvery
  • East End Social Club
  • Ferryhill House Hotel
  • Hawthorn / Adam Lounge
  • The Howff
  • The Justice Mill
  • The Marine Hotel
  • McGinty’s
  • McNasty’s
  • Malmaison
  • Moonfish Café
  • No.10 Bar
  • O’Donoghues
  • Old Bank Bar
  • Prohibition
  • Soul
  • Spiders Web
  • The Draft Project

There wre also four leisure settings named:

  • Aboyne Golf Club
  • Deeside Golf Club
  • Hazelhead Golf Club
  • Banks O’Dee Football Club

If you have recently been to any of the bars named, you should only book a test if you have symptoms. The Test and Protect system continues to trace people who were in close contact with identified cases.

If you are contacted you should self-isolate for 14 days. Getting a test which comes back as ‘not detected’ when you do not have symptoms will not remove the need to self-isolate.

If you have been to one of the affected venues since 26 July 2020 you should do the following:

  • Inform people that you have been in contact with.  But unless you are contacted by NHS Track and Trace system, you DO NOT need to self-isolate;
  • If you have not been contacted by NHS Track and Trace, continue to follow general coronavirus guidance on social distancing, masks and handwashing but be aware that you may be contacted by Track and Trace as they continue to analyse the cluster;
  • If you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, then you will be notified through text, email or phone;
  • If you are identified as a close contact then you must immediately self-isolate for 14 days from the date you last had contact with them – even if you aren’t showing any symptoms;
  • Do not book a test unless you start to experience symptoms.

People in Aberdeen City are asked not to meet other households indoors for leisure or recreational purposes.

If people are already in Aberdeen visiting family or on holiday then they do not need to leave but are asked to follow the recommendations in this guidance and take extra care when returning home.

Restrictions are largely limited to the hospitality sector within the city of Aberdeen. Other sectors should follow current phase 3 guidelines.

All businesses in the Aberdeen City area should however close workplace canteens unless there is no practical alternative for staff to obtain food, and if physical distancing and other hygiene requirements can be maintained.

We understand the impact these measures will have on individuals and businesses. We would emphasise that where a business has brought staff off furlough, those staff can be re-furloughed, as part of the Jobs Retention Scheme.

We continue to urge all employers to support staff to work from home wherever possible.

Workers can continue to go into other households to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries. Such visits should be subject to a risk assessment as well as  ensuring that social distancing and correct wearing of masks.

It may be advisable to postpone viewings of properties or delay a home move, where this is possible.

Hospitality workers

We understand the impact these measures will have on individuals and businesses. We would emphasise that where a business has brought staff off furlough, those staff can be re-furloughed, as part of the Jobs Retention Scheme.

Workers who have previously been furloughed can be re-furloughed at any point until October 31 – it’s a decision for employer (and employee) and they don’t need to explain the rationale to HMRC, they just claim the hours each employee has been furloughed for.

Off-shore workers

Restrictions are largely limited to the hospitality sector. There are no special provisions regarding off-shore workers but we recognise that many travel from afar to work, staying in hotels before going off-shore. This is a factor in keeping city hotels and hotel restaurants open.

These workers can continue to go into other households as it is not for leisure or recreational purposes. Such visits should be subject to a risk assessment as well as  ensuring that social distancing and correct PPE measure are in place.

It may be advisable to postpone viewings of properties or delay a home move, where this is possible.

Indoor visits to hospitals and care homes should be limited to essential visits only. Outdoor visits to care homes are permitted.

To protect patients and staff NHS Grampian have suspended visiting at hospitals in Aberdeen City with immediate effect.

The move effects all NHS facilities in the Aberdeen City Council area – including Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Woodend Hospital, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and Roxburghe House.

Since 13 July, NHS Grampian had been piloting the phased resumption of visits to patients in its facilities, with patients in certain wards allowed one designated visitor.

The restrictions do not apply to those identified as essential visitors.

The following visits are deemed essential:

  • A birth partner during childbirth
  • For a person receiving end-of-life care
  • To support someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed
  • To accompany a child in hospital.

However visitors in this category should also consider whether a visit is essential even in these circumstances.

NHS Grampian nurse director, Caroline Hiscox said: “While we recognise the importance of our patients receiving visitors, it is vital that given the outbreak in the city, that we move to protect the health of both our patients and staff.

“We are aware this change is being imposed at short notice, however it is of the utmost importance that we do all we can to stop the spread of Covid-19 and ensure we do not provide opportunities for it to do so.

“In the first instance these measures are being introduced for seven days, with reviews every seven days and extensions if necessary.

“Virtual visiting sessions will still be available with iPads available for patients to contact loved-ones and friends. These can be organised by contacting senior charge nurses.”

Visiting arrangements for designated visitors at facilities in Aberdeenshire and Moray remain unchanged.

Any Aberdeen resident who is a designated visitor for any patient in Aberdeenshire or Moray should not attend – as per the Scottish Government’s travel restrictions – even if that facility falls within five miles of their home.

Where a designated Aberdeen-based visitor cannot visit a patient in Moray or Aberdeenshire as a result of the restrictions, staff will advise patients on how they can identify another suitable individual to visit for the time-being.

Anyone who is unwell and/or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 – a new, persistent cough and fever or high temperature – should NOT visit any patients in a hospital at any time.

Shielding was paused on 1 August and is not being re-instated at this time. People who had been shielding should consider the number of people they are in contact with, and strictly follow physical distancing and hygiene measures. You may also want to think about the levels of risk associated with work and daily activities.

We know this might be a particularly anxious time for you if you were previously asked to shield. The clinical advice is that you do not need to shield. However, we are keeping the situation under constant review and will not hesitate to change our advice if we think we need to.

For those going back to work, our assessment of the evidence is that we do not yet need to change our advice to those coming out of shielding or going back to work. However, we continue to urge all employers to support staff to work from home wherever possible, and we urge employers to take particular account of those who were shielding, especially now when we are urging vigilance.

You should only self-isolate if you have the symptoms of Covid-19 (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. You can arrange to get a test if you have these symptoms. If you are in a workplace you should be continuing to keep to the FACTS guidance.

These measure will not affect the re-opening of schools from 11 August. One of the purposes of these measures is to ensure that schools are able to re-open.

The risks of opening schools are small, while the benefits to children and wider society of returning to school are large.

As we have not changed our advice to shield, children who are shielding should still be able to return when schools reopen – though, as with all our shielding advice, we will keep this under review.

Current childcare arrangements have not changed under the new rules in Aberdeen. Childcare services could reopen from 15 July following public health guidance which has child and staff wellbeing at the heart.

Informal childcare

Under the new rules in Aberdeen City which mean visiting family and friends indoors is prohibited, informal childcare arrangements are being discouraged unless you are a key worker and this is the only childcare option you have available to you (and you cannot work from home). Extended households can continue to provide childcare.

If you are a keyworker and do need to use family or friends as childcare, then please note that adults shouldn’t be visiting other households. This means that the child should attend the home of the person offering the childcare.

Football clubs and football authorities have worked with medical and public health clinicians to develop safe guidelines to enable elite sport to proceed. At present, it is not possible for  Aberdeen FC to continue with their match programme until all public health requirements are satisfied and it is deemed safe to proceed in order to minimise the risk of further transmission.

The following fixtures have been postponed:

  • 12 August: Aberdeen FC v Hamilton Academicals FC
  • 19 August: Celtic FC v Aberdeen FC

At this stage no changes have been made to the operation of places of worship, however this will remain under review as work is undertaken to control the outbreak.

Marriages and civil partnerships indoors should not take place at the moment. Marriages and civil partnerships outdoors can continue to take place, in line with the general restriction that no more than 20 should attend.

Guests from outwith Aberdeen City should not attend a marriage or civil partnership in Aberdeen at the moment. People living in Aberdeen City should not travel outwith Aberdeen to attend marriages or civil partnerships.

Children whose parents do not live in the same household, can continue to move between households to maintain existing relationships with their parents, provided it is safe to do so. A parent includes a person who is not a parent of the child but who has parental responsibilities for or care of the child.

Businesses required to close are set out in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Aberdeen City) Regulations 2020.

If you have coronavirus symptoms get a test and stay at home.

If you are concerned, remember to follow the FACTS advice.

Updated: 12 August 2020