First minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said in a daily press briefing that she “wanted to cry” after seeing groups of people gathering over the weekend.
Restrictions around social outings in Scotland have lifted later than they did in England – with pubs opening later in July, and groups of up to six allowed to socialise later than they were elsewhere.
Over the weekend, photos emerged from Aberdeen city centre, as well as various beaches around Scotland, which showed a huge number of people gathering together.
In a press briefing, Sturgeon said: “I've seen pictures on social media over this weekend that... made me want to cry,” and urged the “mainly young” people that she’d seen from photos to consider “'how often they need to go to a bar or restaurant right now.”
She also condemned the scenes in a tweet over the weekend, pointing out that Covid-19 is still a real and present threat.
The East Lothian Council had to warn people not to overcrowd the beach in the heat, and park authorities warned about social distancing guidelines being flouted.
A cluster of cases has also been linked to Hawthorn Bar in Aberdeen. There have been 18 new positive cases in Scotland as a result, although there have been no further deaths.
The bar is still open – and has been given permission to be – and Phil Adams, who owns the bar, said: "We've put a lot of measures in place and we've worked very hard to ensure all our staff and customers are safe. This is a very trying time, not just for me but for everyone involved with the business."
Sturgeon has said that if cases continue to grow, she will shut down pubs and restaurants again as the government will be put in a dangerous position and will have to act very quickly.
She did say, “it’s the last thing I want to do.”