Today, the Scottish Government and Aberdeen partners made the decision to return the city to partial lockdown measures, as a result of the weekend spike of COVID-19 infections.
This development has reinforced a realisation in recent weeks that the return of sport and health and fitness services in Scotland will be cautious and tentative and serves as a stark reminder that we are likely to remain in uncertain times for months to come.
Following an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Aberdeen, local restrictions on travel, indoor gatherings between households and the closure of indoor and outdoor hospitality will be introduced in the Aberdeen City local authority area.
Taking effect from 5pm on Wednesday 5 August, bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs will be required by law to close. Hotel restaurants can remain open to provide food for existing guests, and takeaway services can continue.
People in Aberdeen City are asked not to meet other households indoors or travel more than 5 miles for leisure or recreational purposes. People can continue to travel for work, or education purposes.
How does this affect Aberdeen Sports Village?
Details of this local lockdown are still emerging, but it would appear that only the reintroduction of the travel restriction of “no more than 5 miles for leisure or recreational purposes” will impact ASV users (currently restricted to performance athletes and a limited number of clubs).
Will this local lockdown impact the planned opening of the indoor spaces at ASV?
Hopefully not. Last week the First Minister’s announcement that facilities of our type could not yet open felt deflating but being given the indicative date of Monday 14 September was a welcome step. However, the latest developments in Aberdeen puts this into perspective.
ASV will never risk nor compromise the health of our staff or customers, so we will remain patient, continue to prepare and have confidence that when we open, we will do so in a measured and safe way.
Government statements are often subject to further review and sector mitigation of risk. In terms of relevance to Aberdeen Sports Village and our sector, the Scottish Government website states;
With effect from Monday 24 August
- Organised outdoor contact sports can resume for all ages, following the guidance of relevant sports bodies
With effect from Monday 14 September
- Gyms (indoor) can re-open following relevant guidance including on physical distancing and enhanced hygiene. We will keep this under review to consider whether an earlier re-opening date is feasible.
- Swimming pools (indoor) can re-open following relevant guidance. We will keep this under review to consider whether an earlier re-opening date is feasible.
- Indoor sport courts can re-open with physical distancing and subject to relevant guidance, including skating and dance studios. We will review whether indoor classes for children can resume earlier or an earlier re-opening date is feasible.
The road ahead will be bumpy, but we remain positive and hopeful that all outdoor sport can resume from Monday 24 August, and that from Monday 14 September ASV will be able to open the Aquatics Centre, gym, studios and most of the indoor sports areas.
Due to the increase in numbers of people testing positive with COVID-19 in the city, we encourage everyone to be extra vigilant to keep yourself safe. Please wear a face covering, maintain 2 metre distance and wash your hands frequently.
Thank you and stay safe