Nicola Sturgeon said she ‘wanted to cry’ over pictures of pubgoers gathering with no social distancing at the weekend as 27 cases of coronavirus are linked to one bar in Aberdeen.
SNP MP Stephen Flynn today tweeted two photos he had spotted online of the city centre, where an outbreak took place in The Hawthorn Bar.
The MP said he was ‘scunnered’ by the images, which showed dozens of people queuing to enter pubs in the city.
It comes as NHS Grampian announce 27 cases of the virus have been linked to the bar, adding it is ‘aware’ of photos being shared online of ‘extremely busy bars’.
The First Minister gave the latest coronavirus figures at the Scottish Government’s daily briefing in Edinburgh on Monday, saying there have been no Covid-19 deaths in Scotland for the 18th day in a row.
Addressing the Aberdeen cluster, the First Minister earlier said there may be more than the 13 cases announced on Sunday.
She also thanked the owners of the Hawthorn bar, where the outbreak is believed to have started, and said that work is being done to address the cluster.
The First Minister added the coronavirus outbreak was ‘exactly what we feared’ when the decision was taken to reopen the hospitality industry.
Retweeting Mr Flynn’s images on Monday morning, Ms Sturgeon described the scenes as ‘dangerous’, warning it could result in the closure of more bars.
She said: ‘Spot on from @StephenFlynnSNP – Covid remains a real and present threat to our health and wellbeing.
‘Scenes like these are dangerous, and could easily result in pubs being closed again – which no one wants. We all have a responsibility here. Please, please everybody #keeptheheid.’
Mr Flynn, who represents Aberdeen South, said: ‘A bit scunnered by some of the photos appearing online from the city centre over the weekend.
‘Covid-19 has not gone away – as is evident from the cluster linked to The Hawthorn Bar. Should act as the wake-up call some folk clearly need.’
NHS Grampian tweeted earlier on Monday: ‘We can confirm the number of cases detected in the Aberdeen COVID-19 cluster associated with The Hawthorn Bar now stands at 27.’
It added: ‘We aware that many photos have been shared on social media over the weekend of extremely busy bars and venues in Aberdeen.
‘Our Environmental Health colleagues at Aberdeen City Council are in contact with licensees in the city to reiterate the safety rules and regulations. ‘
Dr Emmanuel Okpo, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, said: ‘It is not entirely surprising further cases have been detected. This virus is still circulating in our communities. It poses a risk to all of us.
‘People who have not gone to this bar, or who live in other parts of Grampian, should not assume they are somehow “safe”.
‘If you develop the symptoms of COVID-19 – a loss of sense of taste or smell, a fever, or a new, continuous cough, isolate at home & arrange a test.’
The owners said customers who were there on July 26 tested positive but it was confirmed by NHS Grampian they are only showing mild symptoms.
Physical distancing measures were put in place within the pub and contact tracing is being carried out to identify any other potential cases.
Meanwhile, a total of 2,491 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for Covid-19.
Ms Sturgeon said 18,694 people have tested positive for the virus, up by 18 from 18,676 the day before.
She said 11 of these new cases were in the Grampian area, though she could not say if these were linked to the outbreak in Aberdeen.
There were 265 people in hospital with confirmed Covid-19, no change on the previous day.
Of these, three were in intensive care, no change on the previous total.