Play centres, indoor theatres and music venues in Southport and around the UK are finally allowed to reopen this weekend, the Prime Minister revealed last night.
Beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas and barbers across England will be able to offer all close contact services – including front of the face treatments such as eyebrow threading, eyelash treatments and facials from August 15 under new guidance.
Small wedding receptions and live indoor performances will be able to resume in England from Saturday, as lockdown rules are eased.
Bowling alleys and casinos can also welcome back customers after spending nearly five months in lockdown.
The news was welcomed by customers at a number of businesses in Southport which have been waiting anxiously to hear when they were going to be allowed to reopen.
Speaking on the Playtown Facebook page, one customer wrote: “Yaaaaay! That’s the best news for you!! I truly feel the mental wellbeing for the children is vital at the moment, and delighted your fantastic business is just the one to lift those little ones up!”
Another wrote: “I will be first in! I have four kids ages ranging 17 to 7 and have lived at your place and trust me of all places we have missed you most. Not just for kids but for us mums having a brew and a catch up.”
Scientists had previously cautioned against easing any further lockdown rules after Coronavirus cases began to rise in some areas.
But Boris Johnson also imposed a series of tough new restrictions such as imposing quarantine measures for people coming to the UK from several countries including France, Malta and the Netherlands, which mean travellers must self-isolate for 14 days from Saturday.
Fines for refusing to wear a mask could reach a maximum of £3,200 and illegal rave organisers face a £10,000 penalty.
The Prime Minister said that plans to open up more of the economy this weekend “will allow more people to return to work and the public to get back to more of the things they have missed”.
But Mr Johnson reiterated a warning that the government “will not hesitate to put on the brakes if required, or to continue to implement local measures to help to control the spread of the virus”.
Under changes coming into force from this Saturday (15 August).
- Indoor theatre, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences
- Wedding receptions in the form of a sit-down meal for up to 30 guests will be permitted
- The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume, commencing with the final of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre over the weekend
- Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and soft play centres will be allowed to reopen
- “Close contact” beauty services such as facials, eyebrow threading, eyelash treatments, make up application and microblading will resume
- Pilots will take place at conference venues ahead of the expected resumption of business events from 1 October at the earliest
The new guidance will not apply in areas where local lockdown measures are in place.
Lockdown restrictions were last week introduced in Preston and kept in place in 18 other areas to control outbreaks.
New guidance will also mean that staff offering “close contact” services, including hairdressers, will now have to wear a face mask as well as a clear visor.
The Government said the move, which follows new evidence from the scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) is aimed at protecting customers and staff from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing, or speaking.
It also applies to businesses that operate remotely, such as massage therapists working in people’s homes, and those learning in vocational training environments.
Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques are among venues that remain closed in law.