Gyms, swimming pools & theatres: What is re-opening and what are the new rules?

10 July 2020, 09:48

Gyms will have social distancing rules in place when they re-open
Gyms will have social distancing rules in place when they re-open. Picture: PA

By Adrian Sherling

Gyms and swimming pools have been given the green light to re-open later this month in the latest relaxation of lockdown measures. Here's everything you need to know.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference yesterday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said indoor pools and leisure centres will be permitted to open, while team sports can also resume.

Outdoor theatres can start up again, while trials of socially-distanced shows indoors will be trialled.

Here are the full guidelines of what was announced and the measures they will have in place.

Gyms

Indoor gyms can reopen from 25th July with limited numbers to ensure that each person has at least nine square metres.

Cleaning equipment must provided to wipe down every machine after use. Items which are shared such as weights, balls and exercise mats must be cleaned after each use, or they will be banned.

Treadmills and other exercise equipment may be separated by Perspex screens. People will be encouraged to arrive in their gym clothes and to shower at home instead of at the gym. However, facemasks will not have to be worn.

David Lloyd Leisure boss Russell Barnes welcomed the move and told LBC the gyms are ready to open tomorrow.

"We've been working tirelessly through the lockdown period to ensure that we are ready to reopen in a very safe and clean way," Mr Barnes said, with measures including social distancing and thorough cleaning regimes.

Swimming pools

Outdoor swimming pools can reopen this weekend with restricted numbers. Indoor pools can reopen on 25th July, subject to the same restrictions.

As with gyms, people will be encouraged to arrive in their swimwear to avoid crowding in changing rooms, while showers will be cleaned more frequently.

Good news for those who like slides: swimming flumes can be used as long as there is social distancing. But saunas and steam rooms will not re-open yet.

Team sports

Cricket matches can finally restart tomorrow, with other team sports to follow once the governing organisations agree the measures that must be taken against the virus.

Football, rugby and hockey are all expected to reveal their guidance as soon as this weekend.

Football

Contact must be kept to a minimum - so handshakes, hugging and pre-match huddles will be banned. Balls should be cleaned when they go out of play.

There must not be any shared equipment, such as helmets or water bottles and players must remain socially distanced before and after matches.

Pre-match huddles, handshakes and scoring celebrations where footballers pile onto each other will all be banned.

Five-a-side and seven-a-side football should be able to be played in sports centres once they reopen on July 25.

In children's matches, only one parent may be allowed to supervise to reduce the number of spectators.

Rugby

Rugby is a more difficult sport to re-start, due to the physical contact in the game - so it's likely that social distancing measures will need to be lifted before elements like scrums can resume.

The RFU is looking at how to modify the game, possibly removing scrums and full-contact tackles.

Nail bars will be able to re-open on Monday
Nail bars will be able to re-open on Monday. Picture: PA

Beauty salons

Manicures, pedicures and leg waxes are back from Monday as beauty salons and nail bars are allowed to re-open.

But there are still lots of treatments which are not yet permitted. Eyebrow treatments are still banned, along with facials and make-up. But good news for the hirsute men - beard trimming is back from Monday.

At spas, staff will wear PPE and customers will be asked to fill their own water bottles from water fountains rather than drinking directly.

Tattoo parlours

Tattoo parlours will also re-open on Monday with a series of protective measures in place.

Artists will have to wear masks, face shields, aprons and gloves, while separate work stations must be more than 2m apart.

Artists will also be asked to consider delaying carrying out tattoos or piercings that require working face-to-face.

Open air theatres, such as the one in Regent's Park, will be allowed to re-open
Open air theatres, such as the one in Regent's Park, will be allowed to re-open. Picture: PA

Performing arts

Outdoor performances with socially distanced audiences are set to restart on Monday as the government attempts to restart the devastated arts industry.

Trials of indoor events will be held with the London Symphony Orchestra and Butlin’s holiday camps.

Professional musicians will now be allowed to rehearse together and also to perform outdoors.

Nightclubs and casinos

There's no good news for fans of nightclubs and casinos however, with both still remaining closed.

Nightclubs are expected to be one of the last businesses to re-open due to the enclosed spaces and closeness of people on the dancefloor.

While fruit machines are back in pubs, casinos will still not re-open.

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