Leisure, performance and beauty lockdown easing in England: What will change?
Lockdown restrictions on leisure facilities, performing arts and beauty services will be eased in England within days.
So what will this mean for gym bunnies, culture vultures and anyone wanting to tame unruly eyebrows that have been neglected for months?
– Can I go to the gym?
Yes. Outdoor pools are to reopen from July 11 and indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities are to reopen from July 25.
The guidance also supports the reopening of sports halls which will allow the return of sports such as badminton and volleyball.
– Will my time spent exercising in the gym and playing sport be the same as before?
No. Venues must ensure they can enable everyone to maintain social distancing before, during and after participation.
This means limiting the number of people using the pool or gym at any one time, reduced class sizes, spacing out equipment which is likely to result in fewer machines being available, queue management or one-way systems, and floor markings to help people stay distanced.
Although changing rooms will be open, people should be encouraged to shower and change at home wherever possible.
– And what about entertainment? Can I now go to the theatre?
Sort of. Outdoor performances with social distancing can be put on from July 11.
This means that outdoor theatres, opera, dance and music can resume from Monday so long as they take place outside and with a limited and socially distanced audience.
– What measures will be in place to ensure it is safe?
There will be limited ticket sales to reduce numbers, and tickets must be purchased online with venues encouraged to move towards e-ticketing for help with track and trace.
Singing and the playing of brass and wind instruments in groups or in front of an audience is limited to professionals only, and performers, conductors, and musicians must observe social distancing wherever possible.
– Still no return to indoor theatres?
No. However, there does seem to be efforts under way to make traditional theatre-going a possibility.
The Government is working with the sector to pilot a number of small indoor performances with a socially distanced audience to help inform plans about how best to get indoor venues back up and running.
– What about my beauty routine? Can I get my nails done?
Yes. Nail bars will be allowed to reopen on Monday July 13, along with beauty salons, tattoo and massage studios, physical therapy businesses, spas and piercing services.
– Alleluia. What about a lip wax and eyelash extensions?
No. That won’t be possible. Only services that do not involve work in the highest risk zone – directly in front of the face should be made available at beauty salons.
This means that treatments such as face waxing, eyelash treatments, make-up application and facials, should not be provided until Government advice changes, due to the much greater risk of transmission.
– Apart from fewer treatments, how different will my trip to the beautician’s be?
You can forget about having your usual cup of coffee, and there will be no lounging around having long chats after you get beautified.
Measures in place are to include screens, appointment-only booking systems, minimising time spent on the premises, increased hand washing and surface cleaning, using disposable equipment where possible, and avoiding skin-to-skin contact.
Other measures include maintaining sufficient spacing between customer chairs, and banning food or drink other than water.