The Government has announced a series of tough new enforcement measures targeting the most serious breaches of social distancing restrictions.
Fines for repeatedly not wearing face coverings where mandated will be significantly increased in the coming weeks, and on the spot fines for hosting or facilitating illegal gatherings of more than 30 people will be introduced.
Fines will double to a maximum of £3,200 for those who repeatedly flout face covering rules and new fines are to be introduced for people hosting raves or other unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people.
The announcement comes as a number of remaining culture, sport, leisure and business sectors will be permitted to reopen from this weekend.
From tomorrow (August 15) indoor theatres, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences.
Wedding receptions in the form of a sit-down meal in a COVID-secure location for up to 30 guests will now be permitted.
The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume from August 15 with a view to reopening competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place from 1 October. Indoor play and indoor soft play, bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos will be permitted to reopen.
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.
All staff offering close contact services, including hairdressers, should now wear a face mask, in addition to a clear visor that covers the face. This is to protect the customer and staff from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing, or speaking.
A number of pilots will take place at event venues across the country to help plan how best to restart indoor business events and implement social distancing practices.
Business events and conferences will be permitted to resume from 1 October provided rates of infection remain at current levels.
More detail on the new enforcement measures will be set out in the coming week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Most people in this country are following the rules and doing their bit to control the virus, but we must remain focused and we cannot be complacent. That is why we are strengthening the enforcement powers available to use against those who repeatedly flout the rules.”
Nightclubs, dance halls, and discos, as well as sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars, remain closed in law.