THE number of coronavirus cases confirmed in connection with an outbreak at an Aberdeen has risen to 32.

The revelation came after Nicola Sturgeon stressed that self-isolation following a Covid-19 outbreak is “non-negotiable” as she confirmed that 120 contacts have been traced in relation to the outbreak at the Hawthorn Bar in the city.

The latest figures are a rise of five in the last 24 hours, but NHS Grampian says that it remains possible that further cases may be detected.

Dr Emmanuel Okpo, consultant in public health medicine, said: “I know this is a concerning time for people in Grampian. I want to stress again that only people with symptoms of COVID-19 should arrange a test.

"Getting a ‘not-detected’ result when you do not have symptoms does not mean that you are ‘safe’ as the virus can take several days to develop. It also does not mean that you can avoid self-isolation if you are identified as a close contact of a detected case.”

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Nicola Sturgeon ear;lier revealed 15 of Scotland's new 23 positive cases were detected by NHS Grampian.

The recognised symptoms of COVID-19 are a loss of the sense of taste or smell, a fever, or a new, continuous cough. Anyone experiencing these symptoms, however mild, should isolate at home immediately and arrange a test.

The Scottish Government could consider placing a legal obligation on pubs and other hospitality venues in order to gather contact information from customers.

Ms Sturgeon earlier warned employers that testing staff who were found to be close contacts of a positive case is not an alternative to self-isolation.

Deputy director of public health, Chris Littlejohn, added: “I would encourage the general public to stick with the facts of this case. I understand the desire to pinpoint a person or place responsible for this cluster. However, it is important to realise that this virus is circulating in the community. Anyone could contract it, and anyone could infect others. We all need to take responsibility for our own behaviour.”

NHS Grampian said it was aware some bars in Aberdeen had announced their intention to close.

Aberdeen hospitality firm PB Devco had closed its bars with immediate effect after it was visited by a customer who tested positive for Covid-19.

PB Devco owns a number of businesses in the city, including Soul Bar, which was pictured with crowds gathered outside it at the weekend.

Owner and director Stuart Clarkson said his bars would close until "we feel safe to reopen."

An NHS Grampian spokesman said: "We cannot comment on business decisions. We can confirm that all businesses who have raised concerns in connection with this cluster have had advice and support from our colleagues in Environmental Health."

The cluster, linked to people who visited the Hawthorn Bar on July 26,  emerged on Sunday.

Two staff members tested positive for Covid-19 and the pub was closed "as a precautionary step" for 14 days.