Council prepares for easing of Covid-19 restrictions

Aberdeen City Council is gearing up for the move to Phase 1 of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Scottish Government is set to announce the easing of restrictions from Thursday following the publication last week of its "route map”, which outlined potential measures including:

  • Permitting people to use public outdoor spaces for recreational purposes;
  • Changes in guidance to allow for the planning of schools to return;
  • Permitting outdoor workplaces to resume with physical distancing measures in place following guidance approval;
  • Permitting the gradual resumption of key support services in the community subject to appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures.

Council officers have been working behind the scenes to prepare for a move into Phase 1, although not all measures will necessarily be introduced immediately as further government guidance is developed.

The plans range from reinstating the re-opening of recycling centres to updating parents and carers about the scheduled reopening of schools in August.

Council Co-Leader Councillor Douglas Lumsden said: "Since the route map was announced on May 21, officers have been working tirelessly to plan for the safe transition to Phase 1.

"While we await official confirmation of the start of the easing of lockdown – and details around what exactly that will mean – we are finalising our own arrangements in line with government guidance.

“Details of any changes will be shared with the public on our website from Thursday.

“Public health and wellbeing remains the priority and we are looking for residents to support us on this very gradual and delicate journey.”

Every three weeks the government will review how the virus is being controlled and decide to what extent it can move from one phase to another noting in its route map that not everything currently listed in a single phase will necessarily happen at the same time.

Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: "Even with the easing of restrictions, not all services will necessarily resume to pre-Covid-19 arrangements as we move through the phases.

"We may have to make adaptations in order to operate safely and within current and evolving government guidance, and like many other organisations consider more widely how we operate as emerge from the pandemic.

"Aberdeen is ready to move into Phase 1 – but in a manner that remains safe for staff and customers. Priority will be given to those critical and statutory functions, and everyone has a duty to remain focussed on physical distancing.”