Marine All At Sea

By Jane Cruickshank / August 6, 2020

NHS Grampian and Aberdeenshire Council must surely be reviewing their communication flow after the confusion caused by conflicting information about the current Covid-19 cluster – and The Marine Hotel.

The facts are:

  • The Marine Hotel was visited by a detected case, who had a meal inside the premises, and
  • at no point did The Marine need to close its doors.

A spokesperson for NHS Grampian told The Bellman: ” We decided to issue the list in order to be open and transparent as some businesses were starting to identify themselves and there was so much rumour circulating.”

But Robert Lindsay’s posts on Facebook are an eloquent depiction of the impact of being named on a list of premises – but having no direct notification or guidance from the authorities.

This morning he stated: ”We were not informed that the Marine, obviously outwith the Aberdeen lockdown area, would be on the NHS Grampian list of premises which had Covid-19 contacts, published yesterday afternoon. We had not been informed there had been such a contact, full stop.

”We have not been advised as to what we should do now. No official has said whether we have done enough to mitigate any potential contact. No one has said if we should stay open or close. That is a ridiculous and worrying situation to be in.

”With this lack of clarity and communication from health and council officials, I feel the only responsible thing for me to do is close the hotel, despite being outside the Scottish Government imposed lockdown zone, until I am given categorical assurances we can open safely for business as normal.

”I do this with a heavy heart, but my first duty must be the safety of my staff, customers and the public.”

No need to close business if protocols are in place

Being listed as a location visited by a Covid-19 case did not mean The Marine had to close down as all protocols and guidelines are in place and being met – this has been confirmed by NHS Grampian and by Aberdeenshire Council. The Marine re-opened at 4pm.

It is to Mr Lindsay’s credit that he appears to accept that the various authorities are working in uncharted waters.

In a later post today, when announcing the re-opening of The Marine, he stated: ”The system put in place by NHS Grampian, Aberdeenshire council and Track & Trace have all finally come together, during what must be a testing time for all involved in the containment of the outbreak in Aberdeen City.”

He later added: ”Please follow the First Ministers guidelines and don’t spoil our beautiful town for everyone. We love our Aberdeen customers and hope to see you back very soon, but for now, help everyone and don’t travel to Stonehaven, we understand the police are going to actively manage and reject travelers to the town.

”And if you are from our beautiful seaside gem, please don’t abuse it, there is additional pressure on all areas of Stonehaven, due to the current situation and everyone is using our beautiful seaside, towns and mountains in ways we have not seen before.

”Please respect your neighbor, don’t gather in large groups risking the freedom we have fought so hard for. As we have seen it can be taken away overnight.

”Again the Police have indicated they will actively manage this situation and have asked us to assist them in conjunction with The Ship Inn by bringing to their immediate attention any blatant flaunting of social distancing from larger groups, which will result in enforcement action if need be.”

Latest Statement on Cluster

The latest statement from NHS Grampian on the Covid-19 cluster can be found here.