Aberdeen coronavirus cluster: Timeline of events leading to local lockdown

A local lockdown has been introduced in Aberdeen after the number of cases linked to a coronavirus cluster in the city hit 54.

Initially connected to a city centre bar, there are now fears the rising number of cases means the outbreak is significant and could involve community transmission.

Here is a timeline of events up to restrictions being tightened on Wednesday.

– Sunday August 2

The Aberdeen coronavirus cluster is announced by NHS Grampian.

The health board says 13 cases have been identified and linked to the Hawthorn Bar in Holburn Street.

– Monday August 3

Cases more than double to 27 and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tells the Scottish Government’s regular coronavirus briefing that images of packed pubs over the weekend made her want to cry.

Retweeting images posted by Aberdeen MP Stephen Flynn showing people queuing to enter pubs in the city, she says: “Scenes like these are dangerous and could easily result in pubs being closed again – which no-one wants.”

– Tuesday August 4

The cases linked to the Aberdeen cluster rise by five to 32 as NHS Grampian says 120 close contacts have been identified and warned more may be detected.

Some bars in the city announce they intend to close, including Soul Bar, where staff discovered someone who tested positive had visited.

Stuart Clarkson, director of the pub’s parent firm PB Devco, says the company feels “we now need to take the situation into our own hands to help limit the spread of the virus, as these are unprecedented times and things are escalating quickly”.

– Wednesday August 5

Ms Sturgeon announces local lockdown restrictions will be reimposed on the Aberdeen City Council area after the cases linked to the cluster rise to 54.

She tells the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing that the increase heightens fears there is a “significant outbreak in Aberdeen that may include some community transmission”.

Bars, cafes and restaurants are ordered to close, residents told not allow visitors in their homes and not to travel farther than five miles.

The restrictions will be reviewed after seven days but could be extended, Ms Sturgeon adds.