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Tue, 11 August 2020

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Indoor gyms and pools to reopen in England from 25 July in latest coronavirus lockdown easing move, Culture Secretary confirms

Indoor gyms and pools to reopen in England from 25 July in latest coronavirus lockdown easing move, Culture Secretary confirms

Gyms will be asked to comply with new social distancing measures before they reopen

2 min read

Indoor gyms and pools in England will be allowed to reopen from 25 July, the Culture Secretary has confirmed.

Oliver Dowden said indoor gyms, pools and leisure centers have be given the greenlight to open later in July amid a fresh wave of lockdown easings.

Under the new guidance, outdoor pools and water parks will be allowed to open from this Saturday, with certain recreational sports, such as cricket also allowed to restart over the weekend.

Speaking during a Downing Street briefing on Thursday, Mr Dowden said indoor sports facilites would be allowed to open later this month provided they follow new social distancing rules, including timed entry, smaller class sizes and "enhanced cleaning".

"The reopening of gyms is the news millions across the country have been waiting for with many people desperate to jump on a spinning bike or dive into a pool," he said.

"We will be giving gyms the certainty, clarity and time they need to reopen safely so that the maximum number can open their doors in just two weeks time.

"We need to get the nation match-fit to defeat this disease."

Meanwhile, Mr Dowden said "huge progress" in tackling the virus meant it was now possible to press ahead with further reopenings, including allowing outdoors art performances to begin from this weekend.

The Cabinet minister said theatres, opera, dance and music performers would be allowed to resume shows from Saturday, provided their audiences were outdoors and socially distanced.

The move comes after ministers handed over a £1.57bn bailout to the sector amid fears hundreds of venues could fold without the emergency funding.

But Mr Dowden urged Brits to "play their part" to support the arts.

"Our cultural institutions are beginning also to welcome back visitors and as these places begin to reopen their doors, I’m really urging people to get out there and to play their part," he said.

"Buy the tickets for outdoor plays and music recitals, get to your local gallery and support your local businesses.

"I’m urging British people to make the most of this summer safely."

The latest measures will also see beauticians, tanning salons, and spas allowed to reopen from Monday 13 July, but Mr Dowden said some "higher risk" treatments would still not be allowed.

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