25 November 2020

Spaces for People measures to focus on pinch points

Aberdeenshire Council is to embark on a carefully-planned removal of some elements of its temporary Spaces for People measures in town centres.

However, the need for everyone to adhere to the guidance around Covid-19 - regular washing of hands, wearing of face coverings, avoidance of crowded places and maintaining 2m physical-distancing - remains critical as we work together to suppress the virus.

An approach where some measures outwith main pinch points could be removed will be based on ongoing extensive discussions within the towns themselves, consideration of public health data, review of activity levels in the towns and the wider issues set out under the new 5 Levels of Protection.

The council’s roads and area manager teams have been identifying pinch points in association with local councillors and community and businesses groups.

Once plans have been agreed, it is the intention to implement the changes as soon as is practical.

The council first considered the removal of the temporary measures back in September with input from key stakeholders including NHSG Public Health. While the criteria for removal was almost reached, unfortunately the levels of infection began to rise again, resulting in no measures being removed at that time.

Stephen Archer, Director of Infrastructure Services, said: “The part or complete removal of Spaces for People measures remains a sensitive and complex issue. I would like to stress that public safety remains our key priority and we will continue to review all changes in the interest of public health within our communities.”

“Each and every one of us continues to play a vital role in suppressing this virus. Individuals and businesses will all need to take a precautionary approach to ensure they play their part in ensuring the 2m physical distancing is maintained at all times in our town centres.”