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Gyms, tattoo parlors and pools set to reopen in England, but swimmers should arrive in their bathing suits

Facilities have been closed since March, but will reopen with strict new rules

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By Rupert Steiner


Getty Images
A view of Gourock Outdoor Pool, which opened in 1909.

Aerobics and weightlifting are back, as the British government has announced plans to ease restrictions on indoor gyms.

Outdoor pools can reopen to the public starting July 11, while indoor pools and gyms can reopen starting July 25. Leisure centres and indoor gyms, along with swimming pools and other indoor sports facilities, have been closed since March 21 as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but the reopenings come with strict new rules .

There will be limits on the number of people using facilities , smaller class sizes, and booking systems are being introduced. People will need to be given proper distance when working out as well as in changing rooms, and swimmers have been asked to arrive wearing their swimming costumes.

Read: British government says it will pick up half the checks at restaurants to help boost economy

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said Thursday: “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.

“Our comprehensive guidance will ensure gyms, pools and leisure centres have the support they need to reopen safely for their customers and staff. Helping people return to gyms safely will also help the nation get match-fit to defeat this virus.”

Read: COVID-19 can spread in the air in certain circumstances, the WHO now acknowledges

Theatres in England will also be able to hold outdoor performances starting this weekend, with opera and dance groups able to perform to socially-distanced audiences.

This means one of the most exclusive events of the summer will be salvaged. Glyndebourne in Sussex will stage a series of open-air concerts and operas during July and August.

Tattoo parlors are also to open, along with beauticians and nail salons.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “It’s good news to see the government announce the reopening of thousands more small firms across England. Beauticians, nail salons, gyms and the wider fitness sector have faced months without customers, and they’ll be pleased to see that they can finally get back to business.

“This is a welcome shot in the arm for the health, well-being and happiness of the wider public who have faced unprecedented struggles over the past few months.”

Rupert Steiner is Barron's Group bureau chief for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

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