When gyms, leisure centres, salons, tattooists and pools can open again in latest lockdown easing
Here’s what we learned about the reopening of the leisure and culture sectors following the Government's latest coronavirus briefing.
Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden chaired the briefing from Downing Street on Thursday evening.
Grassroots sports to resume this weekend with gyms and leisure centres to reopen on July 25
Mr Dowden announced that indoor pools, gyms and other sports facilities will be allowed to reopen from July 25.
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In the latest easing of lockdown restrictions, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has also published guidance to enable competitive grassroots team sports to resume, beginning with cricket this weekend.
Outdoor swimming pools will also be able to reopen on Saturday, July 11 with Mr Dowden describing this further easing of lockdown measures as a ‘milestone’ moment.
Outdoor performances to resume on Saturday and cultural venues to be protected
Outdoor arts performances - including theatres, opera, dance and music - will be able to resume from the weekend although audience numbers will be restricted and will be subject to social distancing rules.
Mr Dowden said: “Our culture, heritage and arts are too precious to lose. That's why we're protecting venues like theatres from redevelopment if they fall on hard times.
“We are also giving further clarity on restart dates in our roadmap back to performance. From July 11 we can all enjoy performances outdoors with social distancing and we are working hard to get indoor audiences back as soon as we safely can, following pilots.”
Mr Dowden said changes in planning rules will protect venues such as concert halls, music venues and theatres that have been closed or left vacant due to the coronavirus lockdown from demolition or repurposing.
Beauticians, salons and tattooists to reopen on Monday
From Monday, July 13, beauticians, salons, spas, tattooists and other non-essential services that require close customer contact will be able to reopen.
Mr Dowden said during the Downing Street press 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.”
‘Work out to help out’
Mr Dowden’s new message to the public following the latest easing of restrictions was that now is the time to ‘work out to help out’.
He told the Downing Street press conference: “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.”