Gyms, salons and outdoor arts venues to open in July in latest coronavirus changes

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden revealed the measures at a Downing Street press conference Picture:

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden revealed the measures at a Downing Street press conference Picture: Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street - Credit: PA

Gyms, pools outdoor theatres and tanning salons are among a number of businesses which have been given the green light to open in July in the latest government announcement.

The Beauty Academy in Duke Street, Ipswich, will reopen from Monday, July 13 Picture: COL RIVERS

The Beauty Academy in Duke Street, Ipswich, will reopen from Monday, July 13 Picture: COL RIVERS - Credit: COL RIVERS

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, culture secretary Oliver Dowden said the first businesses to open will be outdoor art spaces including theatres, opera, dance and music from this weekend - although audience numbers will be restricted and subject to social distancing rules.

Beauticians, tattooists, spas, tanning salons and other close contact services can reopen from Monday, July 13.

Mr Dowden said these “will be subject to some restrictions on some particularly high-risk services”, but did not clarify what services were considered “high-risk”.

Col Rivers, who runs The Beauty Academy in Ipswich’s Duke Street with his partner Nicolla Dorn, said the announcement was great news for business but more details were needed.

Jack Cardy and his wife Connie of Live Fit Gym in Mannintree will be able to welcome back members fr

Jack Cardy and his wife Connie of Live Fit Gym in Mannintree will be able to welcome back members from July 25 Picture: JACK CARDY - Credit: Archant


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“We were a busy salon anyway but if we open on Monday as expected, we will be fully booked,” he said.

“I have a nail technician and an eyelash technician and they are fully booked up.

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“But we have received a statement from BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapists and Cosmetology) saying we may not be able to carry out treatments on people’s faces.

“With the exception of nails, almost all the treatments we offer are on the face – eyelash extensions, eyebrow procedures and cosmetic tattooing.

Mr Cardy believes the gym is prepared for members to return, having introduced new distancing measur

Mr Cardy believes the gym is prepared for members to return, having introduced new distancing measures, hand sanitiser and electronic booking systems to keep staff and visitors safe Picture: JACK CARDY - Credit: Archant

“We need clarity on this. If we can only do nails next week, opening on Monday is redundant.”

Gyms, indoor pools and other sports facilities to follow on July 25.

Many gyms have been preparing to reopen after being closed for months and faced a false start on July 4 when leisure facilities were told to remain closed while pubs and restaurants opened.

Live Fit Gym, in Manningtree, opened in the summer of 2019 and owner Jack Cardy is ready to welcome people back to his business later this month.

Mr Cardy said: “We’re chuffed to have a date now, it’s something we can aim at and it’s something to tell our members to look forward to.

“It’s not as soon as we would have hoped because we have been ready for a while, but we will use the time to make sure we follow any of the measures the government announce.

“I think we have taken a lot of the steps we will be asked to already like make sure there is more space between the machines, but we will go over it in the next week to be safe.”

Mr Dowden said he was giving gyms every opportunity to be as ready as possible to meet the government’s forthcoming rules, including reduced fitness class sizes and greater spacing between gym equipment.

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