LOCKDOWN restrictions have been reimposed in Aberdeen with bars, cafes and restaurants ordered to close.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the measures in her daily coronavirus briefing yesterday due to a cluster of virus cases in the area.

Sturgeon said 54 cases have now been reported in the outbreak in Aberdeen as a result of a cluster which involves more than 20 other pubs and restaurants.

She said the rise in cases heightens fears the Scottish Government is “dealing with a significant outbreak in Aberdeen that may include some community transmission”.

As a result of the lockdown, a five-mile travel rule has been put in place and only essential travel is advised.

The restrictions also mean that the 228,000 people who live in the Aberdeen city area can no longer enter each others’ houses.

All indoor and outdoor hospitality venues were also ordered to close by 5pm yesterday.

“The last thing we want to do is to reimpose these restrictions but this outbreak is reminding us just how highly infectious Covid is,” Sturgeon said.

“Our precautionary and careful judgment is that we need to take decisive action now, difficult as that undoubtedly is, in order to try to contain this outbreak and prevent further harm later on.

“As I said earlier, this is about doing all we can to ensure our children can return to schools next week.”

She added: “Acting now, we judge, gives us the time and the space to protect the ability of our young people to return to education.”

The measures apply to the Aberdeen city area and the First Minister said restrictions will be enforced if the rules are not followed.

Across Scotland, Sturgeon said 18,781 people had tested positive for the virus by yesterday, up by 64 from 18,717 the day before.

The First Minister also revealed the changes will be reviewed next Wednesday, when she hopes they could be removed or relaxed. However, the restrictions could be extended beyond next Wednesday if necessary.

The decision to reimpose lockdown restrictions was taken following a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee (CSC SGoR), which also included leaders of Aberdeen City Council, NHS Grampian and Police Scotland.

Sturgeon added the decision to reimpose some measures was taken to “prevent further spread and to give the Test and Protect teams the best possible chance of successfully breaking these chains of transmission” as the rise had contributed to a greater fear there has been a “significant outbreak” in the city.

Extra police officers will be on the streets in Aberdeen to ensure residents comply with the reintroduced lockdown rules.

Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr said: “It’s really important that people follow the instructions and guidance from the Scottish Government.

“To support that, we will have additional patrols in Aberdeen, where local restrictions have been reintroduced.

“Our approach to these local restrictions will reflect the consistent approach taken by Police Scotland since the outset of this pandemic, and our officers will continue to engage, educate and encourage people to comply, as we all support the public health efforts.

“As a national service, Police Scotland is able to quickly flex capacity to support local communities across the country and we will provide whatever additional resources are necessary to protect and support the communities affected,” added Kerr.

“I realise that this situation will be frustrating for people in the affected area but it’s really important that we all continue to do so.

“For the minority who may choose to breach the regulations, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action where appropriate.”