Pools, gyms and outdoor arts performances to return in latest lockdown easing

Swimming pools, gyms and outdoor arts performances are to begin reopening in the latest easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 5:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th July 2020, 5:58 pm

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said outdoor pools will be able to reopen from Saturday to be followed by indoor pools, gyms and other sports facilities from July 25.

Theatres, opera, dance and music will also be able to resume outdoors from the weekend although audience numbers will be restricted and will be subject to social-distancing rules.

Following the opening for hairdressers last week, beauticians, tattooists, spas, tanning salons and other close contact services will be able to welcome back customers from Monday.

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Pools, gyms and outdoor arts performances to return in latest lockdown easing

At the same time the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has also published guidance to enable competitive grassroots team sports to resume, beginning with cricket at the weekend.

Mr Dowden told a Downing Street press conference: "I'm really urging people to get out there and to play their part: buy the tickets for outdoor plays and musical recitals, get to your local gallery and support your local businesses.

"Our fight began with a collective effort and I really hope it will end with one.

"At the beginning we all stayed at home to protect the NHS and save lives now the British public has a new part to play.

"It's time to eat out to help out, to enjoy the arts to help out and to work out to help out.

"It's over to all of you to help the country recover safely."

The Culture Secretary said the Government was also changing the planning rules to protect theatres, concert halls and live music venues forced to close during the pandemic from demolition or change of use.