Aberdeen’s hospitality sector reopens following local COVID-19 restrictions

Businesses in Aberdeen’s hospitality sector that have been assessed or have made arrangements to be assessed by the local authority’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards teams (EH&TS), will re-open today (Wednesday 26 August) in line with Scottish Government guidelines.

These premises include restaurants, bars, cafes and hotels where food is served on the premises.

The Scottish Government introduced local restrictions in Aberdeen on Wednesday 05 August following an outbreak of COVID-19 linked to local licensed premises in the city.

The compliance check carried out by EH&TS consist of a visit or for lower risk businesses a telephone-based assessment.

At 5pm on Tuesday 25 August, 327 premises had been assessed and these continue.  EH&TS have now completed the majority of their scheduled site visits and expect to be able to complete the remainder before trading starts today, subject to the ongoing cooperation of businesses in Aberdeen.

Businesses who have not had their assessment but wish to open today may do so as long as they have actively engaged with Aberdeen City Council to make arrangements for a check to be made.

In some instances, hospitality businesses have not yet responded to the Council’s EH&TS or have not yet informed the council of their new contact details.

Any business that has yet to be assessed should provide their contact details before recommencing operations.

Councillor Boulton said: “Businesses who have not had their assessment but wish to open today may do so as long as they have actively engaged with Aberdeen City Council’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards.

“I would like to express my thanks and appreciation of the dedication and hard work of the city’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers who have been working tirelessly over very long hours while local restrictions have been in place to do all that they could to help businesses in the hospitality sector get ready for reopening. I would also like to thank the Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers across Scotland who have supported our teams during this challenging time.

“It is vital that everyone continues to work together, public sector partners, premises and the public to make the release from lockdown a success. We are dealing with an enemy that is invisible therefore we must be vigilant at all times and remember the FACTS guidance.”

Aberdeen City Council, Police Scotland, and NHS Grampian’s Public Health team have held two webinars for representatives of the hospitality sector in Aberdeen to provide an overview of the requirements of the regulations and statutory guidance which they will need to follow to ensure they reopen safely.

The webinars were held on Friday 21 August and on Monday 24 August and were hosted by Councillor Marie Boulton, Convenor of the Licensing Board, and included speakers from Aberdeen City Council's Environmental Health and Trading Standards teams, the Licensing and City Centre Policing teams from Police Scotland, and a representative from NHS Grampian Public Health.

The Council also gave a presentation on the new grant scheme available to hospitality businesses. Businesses or premises which had been forced to close as a direct result of COVID regulations (local restrictions) applied to Aberdeen on 5 August 2020 are eligible to apply.

Full criteria and an application form can be found here. Queries should be directed to businessgrowthteam@aberdeencity.gov.uk

For COVID-related information for businesses and FAQs visit the council’s website.