Covid-19: Beauty salons, gyms and leisure facilities to reopen in July
The government has said that leisure facilities and beauty salons in England can reopen before the end of July.
Indoor pools and gyms will be among the leisure venues allowed to reopen, while nail bars and tattoo parlours can also resume their services.
Grassroots sport will also be allowed to restart, beginning with cricket.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden unveiled the latest lifting of restrictions during a Downing Street briefing, saying that normal life was “slowly returning” and calling on the public to “work out to help out”.
Dowden added that England’s performers and artists could also resume some of their trade after “waiting in the wings since March”, with outdoor performances allowed to resume with restricted numbers of attendees.
The culture secretary 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.”
Dowden warned that the new measures were “conditional and reversible”, adding that local lockdowns could be reinforced in the same fashion as the one in place in Leicester should there be an upsurge in Covid-19 cases.
The UK’s total number of deaths attributed to coronavirus has reached 44,602, having increased by 85 in the 24 hours to 17:00 BST on July 8.
July 13 marks the date that beauticians, tattooists, spas, tanning salons and other similar close-proximity services can open again, but these will be “subject to restrictions” with regards to “particularly high-risk” services.
Outdoor pools can reopen from July 11, while indoor pools, indoor gyms and sports facilities will be allowed to open their doors from July 25. Facial coverings will not have to be worn in gyms.
Teams sports can begin resuming from this weekend, starting with cricket, while outdoor theatres can open from this Saturday.
Full guidance for reopening sports facilities, including social distancing and hygiene measures, along with personal protection for staff, has been released by the government, which will include limiting overall capacity, reduced class sizes, and spacing out exercise equipment.
If social distancing rules are practised, small numbers of spectators can attend outdoor sporting events.
Dowden said that the data was “moving in the right direction” following the reopening of pubs and restaurants last weekend, prompting the government to press on with a further easing of the lockdown.
"The judgment we've taken with this [pubs] and swimming pools and elsewhere is it is better to reopen with those restrictions than not reopen at all."