Lockdown to ease further in England from Saturday

Lockdown to ease further in England from Saturday
  • Clock-gray 09:25
  • calendar-gray 14 August 2020

More beauty treatments, small wedding receptions and live indoor performances will be able to resume in England from Saturday, as lockdown rules are eased, APA reports citing BBC.

Bowling alleys, casinos and soft play centres will also be able to reopen, PM Boris Johnson has announced.

It comes as the government introduces tough new measures targeting breaches of social distancing restrictions.

Fines for refusing to wear a mask could reach a maximum of £3,200 and illegal rave organisers face a £10,000 penalty.

"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," Mr Johnson said.

"That is why we are strengthening the enforcement powers available to use against those who repeatedly flout the rules."

The changes coincide with new quarantine measures for people coming to the UK from several countries including France and the Netherlands, which mean travellers must self-isolate for 14 days from Saturday.

The prime minister said that plans to open up more of the economy this weekend "will allow more people to return to work and the public to get back to more of the things they have missed".

But Mr Johnson reiterated a warning that the government "will not hesitate to put on the brakes if required, or to continue to implement local measures to help to control the spread of the virus".

Under changes coming into force from 15 August:

  • Indoor theatre, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences
  • Wedding receptions in the form of a sit-down meal for up to 30 guests will be permitted
  • The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume, commencing with the final of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre over the weekend
  • Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and soft play centres will be allowed to reopen
  • "Close contact" beauty services such as facials, eyebrow threading, eyelash treatments, make up application and microblading will resume
  • Pilots will take place at conference venues ahead of the expected resumption of business events from 1 October at the earliest

The new guidance will not apply in areas where local lockdown measures are in place, the government said.

Lockdown restrictions were last week introduced in Preston and kept in place in 18 other areas to control outbreaks.

Devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have the power to set their own timings for the easing of restrictions.

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