GYMS, beauty salons and swimming pools have been given the green light to reopen this month as the government confirmed the next stage of easing lockdown restrictions.
Outdoor pools and performances can reopen first as there is less danger of catching coronavirus outside, with indoor pools, gyms and beauty salons to follow.
Outdoor pools and outdoor performances will be allowed to reopen first, from July 11, with beauty salons, tattoo studios and tanning salons following from July 13.
Nail bars, beauty salons and massage parlours can also reopen from Monday, July 13.
Indoor gyms, indoor pools and indoor sporting facilities can then reopen from July 25, in a boost for fitness buffs.
But casinos, nightclubs and children’s soft play areas will have to wait a bit longer before they can welcome back Brits.
The announcement was made on Thursday, July 9, as part of a coronavirus Downing Street briefing by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.
Mr Dowden said: “The reopening of gyms is the news millions across the country have been waiting for with many people desperate to jump on a spinning bike or dive into a pool.
“Our comprehensive guidance will ensure gyms, pools and leisure centres have the support they need to reopen safely for their customers and staff.
“Helping people return to gyms safely will also help the nation get match-fit to defeat this virus.”
For these businesses to reopen, they’ll need to follow certain measures to make sure they’re Covid-secure – this includes limiting customers, reducing gym classes and providing adequate ventilation.
Spas will also be banned from doing facials.
The government confirmed at the start of the month that gyms would be reopening at some point in July.
Outdoor gyms were allowed to reopen from July 4 but government scientists argued indoor gyms were seen as a high risk for spreading coronavirus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted restrictions for other businesses including pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers on July 4.
Non-essential shops were allowed to reopen from June 15, following homeware stores on May 21.
Speaking last week, Mr Johnson said gyms will reopen “in a couple of weeks”.
The PM told LBC: “We are going to reopen gyms as soon as we can do it in a Covid-secure way.
“I think that the date for reopening gyms at the moment, if we can do it, is in just a couple of weeks’ time.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma also said last month that opening gyms could be possible “at some point later on in July”.
All “non-essential” services and businesses were ordered by the government to shut on March 20.
But government has previously warned it’ll slam the breaks on firms reopening if the number of positive coronavirus cases look like they could be getting out of control.
Local lockdowns could also be put in place, like in Leicester.
To help venues get back to work, the government has already slashed the social distancing rule from two metres to “one metre plus”.
The Gym Group has offered a glimpse into what the gym floor will look once it opens.
Changes include customers being asked to spend no more than 45 minutes working out, while there will be screens around some equipment to separate customers.
Pubs and restaurants are limited to table service, while hairdressers must wear visors as they work.
The rules announced yesterday only apply to England, as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own measures.
Nicola Sturgeon said today that gyms in Scotland would be allowed to reopen from July 31.
That also includes indoor spaces like theatres and music venues.