Wedding receptions, bowling alleys, and live indoor performances are back on the list of permitted activities.
July saw a wave of reopenings as the UK attempted to return to a state of normality, and whilst many pubs, restaurants, shops, and other establishments have made a successful return, the latest set of reopenings were delayed by a slight uptick in the number of cases. Originally scheduled for August 1, it’s been confirmed today that a number of new easing measures – including allowing wedding receptions for up to 30 people, and the return of bowling alleys and some beauty treatments – will come into effect on Saturday, August 15.
The new measures cover a range of areas, with the entertainment sector looking to be the biggest beneficiary of the change. Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks, and soft-play areas are permitted to reopen, whilst theatres and music venues are now allowed to reopen with socially distanced audiences – something the Bridge Theatre has been quick to take advantage of.
Delayed pilot events which would have seen a select number of spectators return to sporting events (such as cricket’s Bob Willis Trophy or the World Snooker Championship) are also back on the table, with small crowds planned for a test event at the final of the World Snooker Championship this weekend. Elsewhere, wedding receptions can take place for up to 30 guests, but they must take the form of a sit-down meal. Certain beauty treatments which require close contact between stylist and customer – such as facials, eyebrow threading, and microblading – will also be allowed to resume.
These new measures will apply to England only from August 15, with devolved governments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland able to set their own timetable to introduce them. Additionally, any areas of England that have seen clusters of new cases recently – areas such as Preston and Leicester, which saw the nation’s first local lockdown – will not be allowed to introduce this round of easing measures just yet.
Despite these new guidelines, greater caution is being exercised in other areas. It has also been announced that quarantine measures have been re-imposed on any travellers arriving in the UK from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba, with the 14-day isolation period mandatory from Saturday. Furthermore, the government has doubled fines for any repeat failings to wear a face covering where required, with the maximum allowable fine now rising to £3200 for serial offenders. If you are able to, we’d once again implore you to wear face masks and coverings wherever necessary, in order to help speed the UK’s return to normality.
Also published on Medium.