Moray licensees Warned Following Aberdeen Outbreak

Local leaders send a strong message to Moray licensees and customers following Aberdeen outbreak.

License trade chiefs called on customers, publicans and bar staff to take heed of the lessons from Aberdeen’s COVID-19 outbreak.

The Chair of Moray Licensing Board, the Chair of Moray’s Police and Fire and Rescue Services Committee and a prominent Moray publican have joined forces in a strong message to licensees and customers across the region to do all that they can to keep licensed premises safe.

The spike in Covid-19 cases in Aberdeen predominantly linked to the evening economy, highlights the importance of everyone playing their part and pro-actively following government guidance to keep our communities safe.

Chair of the Moray Licensing Board, Cllr Gordon Cowie, said:

“Our bars, restaurants and cafes in Moray are a hugely important part of our economy and it is vital that they are safe environments and that people feel confident to use them.

“The vast majority of licensees are doing a tremendous job of making their premises as safe as possible and there is some excellent practice out there but there are, unfortunately, some exceptions.

“Where there are issues I can assure both the public that the Licensing Board is working extremely closely with Police Scotland and we will take action to address breaches of licensing conditions that put the public and staff in these premises at risk.

“I would urge all licensees to follow best practice and continue working with our Environmental Health and Licensing officers so that we are all doing our utmost to avoid any backward steps.”

The number of confirmed cases in a Covid-19 cluster which led to a local lockdown in Aberdeen has risen to 101.

Chair of the Moray Police and Fire and Rescue Services Committee, Cllr Paula Coy, said:

“I am in regular contact with our local police command and they are putting a huge effort into keeping people as safe as possible during this pandemic.

“They are making regular visits to Licensed premises, especially at busier times, and it is of vital importance that both the public and staff in licensed premises work with the police to ensure the safety of people, especially around queuing and social distancing.

“We all need to remember that Covid kills.

“People in Moray have already died of Covid and when we are out in public spaces we all need to do our utmost to prevent the spread of the virus and prevent further deaths.

“Stick to the rules. Follow the instructions of bar and restaurant staff and of the police and if you don’t feel safe, vote with your feet and go somewhere where you do feel safe.”

Licensee Gordon Brailsford, who runs the Mosset Tavern in Forres, said:

“As a licensee I have put in place physical distancing measures, additional staff training, signage and much more to ensure that we have a Covid safe environment for both our customers and our hard-working team.

“The vast majority of licensees across Moray are doing the same but there are some exceptions and I would simply ask all publicans to constantly ask themselves ‘Am I doing enough?’.

“The outlook for our businesses and for our staff and customers can be positive if we all do the right thing and avoid an outbreak like Aberdeen.

“That means making sure we have the right distancing measures in place, that we are all pro-actively collecting contact details, that we are reminding customers to maintain distancing, that our staff are well trained on these procedures and that we keep reviewing those procedures.

“By doing that we can keep all of Moray’s licensed premises Covid safe, protect the health of people across Moray, protect the health of our businesses and protect the jobs of our staff.”