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Second wave lockdown spreads from Manchester to Aberdeen

Published:  05 August, 2020

Aberdeen has become the latest city to suffer from a second spike in coronavirus cases, leading pubs and bars to close.

The Scottish city is under official lockdown once again after a cluster of cases were traced back to a pub in the area.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has now confirmed that pubs and restaurants will be closing as of today (5 July) as part of a package of emergency measures, while a ban has been put in place on visiting other households indoors.

Tourism is also under threat as outsiders are told not to visit the city.

“This particular cluster is another reminder that this virus is still out there and hasn’t gone away,” Sturgeon said.

“It remains extremely infectious and, of course, it remains extremely dangerous and all of us have a part to play in denying it the opportunities to spread.”

The measures are a sobering reminder of the continuing toll the virus is taking on the UK’s communities.

A spate of second-wave lockdowns has rocked the north of England over the past few weeks, including Manchester, where restrictions were tightened due to rising infection rates.

The new restrictions, covering the Greater Manchester area, mean that people from two households cannot meet up indoors. This includes pubs and bars as well as private homes, which is likely to result in a stripped-back hospitality sector for the city’s foreseeable future.

The measures are mainly “due to households meeting and not abiding to social distancing,” health secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday (2 August). “So from midnight tonight, people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors in these areas.”

Pubs and restaurants in the area haven’t been uniformly closed.

Despite the threat of Covid-19 retightening its grip across the UK, there have been some encouraging reports that restaurant reopenings have been helping the economy gain momentum.

According to the Times, Britain’s services sector grew at its fastest rate in more than five years last month as the economy starts to fight back against the coronavirus slump.

Business activity is also gaining momentum now that shops, restaurants and bars are reopen.

The improvement in the market in July “bolsters hope that the economy will return to clear growth in the third quarter with expansion around 12%,” Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said. Though he added “growth is likely to slow in the fourth quarter as unemployment rises.”