The Government has announced that businesses such as beauty salons, swimming pools and indoor gyms can finally re-open following the COVID-19 lockdown.
Outdoor swimming pools and other outdoor facilities can re-open from this Saturday, but indoor gyms, sports facilities and swimming pools won’t re-open until 25th July. Visitors will be encouraged to shower and change at home where possible, although changing rooms will remain open.
Beauty salons, nail bars, tattooists and tanning shops will be able to re-open from Monday (13th July) but facial treatments are still not permitted.
Outdoor theatre and music performances can also resume from this weekend, but audiences must be socially distant with restricted numbers.
There is good news for sports fans too with local club cricket also able to resume from this Saturday. Limited numbers of spectators will be allowed but clubhouse bars will be able to open, subject to social distancing rules.
Gerald Vernon Jackson, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, has said:
“It is great news that gyms and leisure centres can reopen, and many people will be hugely excited about being able to safely visit them again. Being active is crucial to the fight against obesity, inactivity and poor mental health, and we know that the lockdown has increased physical inactivity and unhealthy eating habits for some families.
“Many leisure providers are in serious financial jeopardy as a result of months of lockdown and the expensive cost of maintaining closed facilities, particularly those with swimming pools. Although able to access the Job Retention Scheme they have had very little other financial support and a financial support package is needed to stabilise them.
“Having had to furlough staff and faced with uncertainty about when they might be able to reopen, providers have been unable to prepare. This means it may take a bit of time to reopen some facilities in line with government guidance and to ensure the right measures in place to maintaining social distancing and safe use.
“They will no doubt move as fast as they can to reopen. Residents should keep an eye on council websites and social media channels to find out when their local leisure facilities are open.”