Coronavirus National & International

England to ease more Lockdown restrictions from Saturday

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More beauty treatments, small wedding receptions and live indoor performances will be able to resume in England from Saturday, as lockdown rules are eased, according to the 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 bigger fines for failing to wear a mask in places where it is compulsory.

Meanwhile, quarantine measures have been imposed on more countries, including France and the Netherlands.

The easing of lockdown rules is now due to come into force on Saturday, after being postponed from 1 August due to concerns about a slight increase in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus in England.

Last week, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed this may be levelling off.

Under the latest changes:

  • 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.

Local lockdown rules vary from place to place, but since July measures have been introduced in Leicester, Preston, East Lancashire, parts of West Yorkshire. Greater Manchester, and Aberdeen.

The Department of Health said restrictions on household gatherings in parts of the North West, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester will continue.

The latest data does not show a decrease in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area and shows a continued rise in cases in Oldham and Pendle, while numbers remain high in Blackburn with Darwen, the department said.

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”.

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