Pools, gyms, beauticians, tattooists among those to get green light to reopen


The Government has outlined the measures that will allow outdoor pools to reopen from this weekend (July 11) and indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities to reopen from July 25.

Venues must ensure they can enable customers, staff and volunteers to maintain social distancing before, during and after participation.

Outdoor performances of music and acting have also got the go ahead from Saturday and from Monday beauticians, tanning salons and tattoo parlours can reopen for business.

Businesses have been closed since March when restrictions were brought in to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.

Culture Secretary Oliver 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.”

Performing arts can take place outdoors from Saturday with a socially distanced audience present.

This means that outdoor theatres, opera, dance and music can resume so long as they take place outside and with a limited and socially distanced audience.

The Government will also work with the sector to pilot a number of small indoor performances with a social distanced audience to help inform plans about how best to get indoor venues back up and running.

A change in planning rules will also mean theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues will be protected from demolition or change of use by developers, stopping those that have been made temporarily vacant during lockdown disappearing altogether.

Today’s announcements follows the government’s announcement of £1.57 billion of funding for the arts, culture and heritage sector earlier this week.

Singing and the playing of brass and wind instruments will be permitted in a managed and controlled professional working environment to minimise risk.

The guidance for performances:

  • A reduction in venue capacity and limited ticket sales to ensure social distancing can be maintained
  • All tickets must be purchased online and venues are encouraged to move towards e-ticketing for help with track and trace
  • Venues should have clearly communicated social distancing marking in place in areas where queues form and adopt a limited entry approach *. Increased deep cleaning of auditoriums
  • Performances should be scheduled to allow sufficient time to undertake deep cleaning before the next audience arrives
  • Singing and the playing of brass and wind instruments in groups or in front of an audience is limited to professionals only
  • Performers, conductors, musicians must observe social distancing wherever possible

Measures for gyms/pools/sports sites

Limiting the number of people using the facility at any one time, for example by using a timed booking system;

Reducing class sizes and allowing sufficient time between each class to avoid groups waiting outside during changeover;

Ensuring an appropriate number of people are in a swimming pool at any one time;

Spacing out equipment or taking some out of service to maintain social distancing;

Enhanced cleaning and providing hand sanitizer throughout venues;

Considering how the way people walk through their venue could be adjusted to reduce contact, with queue management or one-way systems;

Ensuring adequate ventilation;

Encouraging the use of outdoor spaces for individual, team or group activities, making sure to comply with the latest restrictions on public gatherings;

Exercise or dance studios should have temporary floor markings where possible to help people stay distanced during classes;

Customers and staff should be encouraged to shower and change at home wherever possible, although changing rooms will be available.

Beauty and tattoo studios

Beauty salons, nail bars, tattoo and massage studios, physical therapy businesses and spas across England will be able to reopen from Monday, July 13.

Updated COVID-19 secure guidance sets out the measures that those providing close contact services should follow to protect staff and customers.

Only services that do not involve work in the highest risk zone – directly in front of the face – should be made available to clients. This means that treatments such as face waxing, eyelash treatments, make-up application and facial treatments, should not be provided until government advice changes, due to the much greater risk of transmission.

Where 2 metre social distancing cannot be maintained, for example when providing a treatment, the person providing the service should wear further protection in addition to any that they may usually wear. This should be a clear visor that covers the face, or the use of a screen or other barrier that protects the practitioner and the customer from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking.