Last reviewed 10 July 2020
With data from Public Health England (PHE) showing that confirmed Covid-19 cases fell by a quarter in the week to 5 July, the Government has decided to press on with moves to allow more businesses and facilities to reopen in the near future.
Pools and Gyms
Outdoor pools can reopen to the public from 11 July followed by indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres on 25 July.
They have been provided with guidance, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), compiled with input from the trade body ukactive, the Sport and Recreation Alliance and Sport England and in consultation with PHE and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/providers-of-grassroots-sport-and-gym-leisure-facilities, this includes advice for providers of pool, gym and leisure facilities on cleaning, social distancing, and protection for staff to help venues get back up and running safely.
Venues must ensure they can enable customers, staff and volunteers to maintain social distancing before, during and after participation, the Government warned.
This could mean using a timed booking system, reducing class sizes, spacing out equipment and ensuring adequate ventilation. However, the DCMS has said that face coverings will not be mandatory in gyms.
Competitive grassroots sport can soon return — starting with cricket from 11 July — although sport governing bodies must submit detailed safety plans before restarting.
Detailed guidance can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-phased-return-of-outdoor-sport-and-recreation.
Outdoor cultural performances
Outdoor theatres, opera, dance and music can resume from 11 July so long as performances take place 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 mean theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues will be protected from demolition or change of use by developers.
The DCMS has made guidance available to organisations in this sector (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts).
This makes clear that all tickets must be purchased online with venues encouraged to move towards e-ticketing for help with track and trace. Performances should be scheduled to allow sufficient time to undertake deep cleaning before the next audience arrives.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has confirmed that close-contact businesses such as beauticians, nail bars, tanning salons and tattooists can reopen from 13 July although with restrictions maintained in place on high-risk services as set out in guidance available at www.gov.uk/government/news/beauty-salons-set-to-reopen-for-some-services-next-week-under-new-government-guidelines.