The culture secretary says “normal life is slowly returning” as he confirms more lockdown measures will be eased in England.
Beauty salons, tanning shops and tattooists can reopen in England from Monday, the government has said, while gyms and indoor swimming pools will be allowed to let customers return later this month.
In a further easing of lockdown restrictions, outdoor swimming pools can reopen from Saturday and indoor gyms, swimming pools, dance studios and sports like badminton and volleyball from 25 July.
Outdoor arts performances – including theatres, opera, dance and music – will also be able to resume from this weekend, although audience numbers will be restricted and will be subject to social distancing rules.
Here are the key dates:
- Outdoor pools to reopen from SaturdayTheatres, opera, dance and music to resume outdoors from this weekendClub cricket to return from Saturday, with other outdoor recreational sports to follow laterBeauticians, tattooists, spas and tanning salons to reopen from MondayIndoor gyms, swimming pools and dance studios to return from 25 July
“Normal life is slowly returning,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told a Downing Street news conference.
“Having allowed hairdressers to reopen, beauticians, tattooists, spas, tanning salons and other close contact services can now do the same, I’m pleased to say, from Monday.
“Of course that will be subject to some restrictions on particularly high-risk services.”
There will be restrictions on numbers in gyms and pools and people will be encouraged to shower and change at home where possible, though changing rooms will be open.
But Mr Dowden said face coverings would not need to be worn in gyms.
“We have not taken a decision to require the wearing of face masks in respect of gyms,” he said.
Club cricket can resume from this Saturday, with a limited number of spectators allowed and clubhouse bars will be able to open, subject to social distancing rules.
Guidance has been published to enable competitive grassroots team sports to resume – but each individual sport will have to submit an action plan to the government on how they will operate before they can be approved to restart.
For outdoor sports like cricket, supporters will also be allowed to attend in small numbers provided they are in groups of two households only, or no larger than six people from different households, and adhere to social distancing measures.
At the Downing Street briefing, Mr Dowden deployed a new slogan in the coronavirus fight, saying it is now time to “work out to help out”.
He said: “I’m really urging people to get out there and to play their part: buy the tickets for outdoor plays and musical recitals, get to your local gallery and support your local businesses.
“Our fight began with a collective effort and I really hope it will end with one.
“At the beginning we all stayed at home to protect the NHS and save lives, now the British public has a new part to play. It’s time to eat out to help out, to enjoy the arts to help out and to work out to help out.
“It’s over to all of you to help the country recover safely.”
:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
The culture secretary said the government was also changing the planning rules to protect theatres, concert halls and live music venues forced to close during the pandemic from demolition or change of use.
Leisure centres and indoor gyms, along with swimming pools and other indoor sports facilities, have been closed since Saturday 21 March as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Outdoor gyms were permitted to reopen from 4 July while following social distancing.