09 July 2020 18:35
In a briefing in June, Boris Johnson confirmed that while hairdressers were officially allowed to open from July 4, nail bars along with spas and beauty salons were to remain closed. Mr Johnson said: "We also intend to allow some other close contact services, such as nail bars, to reopen as soon as we can; when we're confident they can operate in a secure way." Businesses that require hands-on interaction with customers are at the highest risk of spreading Covid-19, so when it was announced on 23rd March that the UK would go into lockdown as a temporary measure, naturally nail salons were among the first to announce closures. In Italy, after a 55-day lockdown period, shops, hair and beauty salons were allowed to open on May 18th. Similarly in Germany, following the reopening of DIY stores and garden centres, hair salons were opened on May 4th, and nail bars were next in line. After getting the green light from their government, strict rules have been put in place for reopened salons for the foreseeable future: hair stylists must wear protective gear, and customers must be seated far enough apart to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Where previously rows of manicure stations were placed within 2 metres of each other, once open, a look at layouts may be required to ensure social distancing can be maintained, particularly as they'll have permanent hand-wash fittings in place that can't be moved. Proper PPE will likely be required for every treatment to keep customers and staff protected, and a salon is likely to reduce the number of clients to avoid crowding. A less extensive treatment menu could be one way to ensure a speedier service: gel manicures or nail extensions are a lengthy process that require one customer sitting in a chair for often over an hour. 'We haven't received any government guidelines regarding what to do when we reopen yet,' said Fatima Naveed, brand manager at Duck & Dry, stylish blow-dry and nail bar with locations in London's Oxford Circus and Mayfair. 'We do have to have a balance between limiting the number of customers, services performed or opening hours with the businesses being able to survive.
And while those outdoor performances get underway, we will be working with the public health experts to carefully pilot a number of indoor performances - from the London Symphony Orchestra at St Luke's, to Butlins - to work out how we can confidently usher socially-distanced audiences indoors as soon as possible. At the same time, we're funding scientific studies to help us understand and mitigate some specific public health risks, like the impact of singing, wind and brass instruments on transmission. We're also taking steps through the planning system to protect theatres and venues from demolition or change of use, and of course all of this comms on top of the unprecedented £1.57 billion package of emergency support to help arts, heritage and cultural institutions weather the COVID storm. But, of course, we want to see all of our venues open as soon as it's safe to do so. Having allowed hairdressers to reopen, beauticians, tattooists, spas, tanning salons and other close-contact services can now do the same I'm pleased to say from Monday.
As these places begin to reopen their doors, I'm really urging people to get out there and to play their part. Even at the height of lockdown it was considered an essential activity - with countless people hitting their parks for their daily run or transforming their living rooms into temporary gyms. From this weekend onwards, millions of people will be able to rejoin their local sports teams as soon as their organisations publish approved guidance. And from Saturday 25th, people will no longer have to work out in the park or on their living room floor. They'll be able to get back into their gyms, their indoor swimming pools, their leisure centres, and jump on the spin bike or treadmill for the first time in months. 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. Again, we've worked intensively with both professional bodies and the experts to get us to this point, and facilities will have to take a number of measures to protect their communities. That includes for example using timed booking systems to limit the number of people using the facility at any one time, and reduced class sizes. As always, the public will need to do their bit and follow the guidance sensibly and safely. And we will not hesitate to impose lockdowns where there are local spikes - as we saw in Leicester, where things remain closed and of course in any other place when that is necessary. But the return of gyms and recreational sport is a vital part of our battle against coronavirus. The government has announced new lockdown-easing measures that will see indoor swimming pools reopen in England on Saturday 25 July. Outdoor swimming pools can open from 11 July - although not all outdoor swimming pools have been closed - some wild swimming sites have remained available throughout lockdown. On 4 July the biggest swathe of re-openings since March took place, with bars, restaurants, pubs, libraries, cinemas, art galleries and museums, all welcoming the public back after 100 days. But venues like gyms and swimming pools have remained closed as the risk of virus transmission was deemed too high for indoor sports facilities. Possible difficulty maintaining social distancing in changing rooms and pool-side was considered the main reason for the delayed opening rather than transmission in water, where chlorine is likely to kill the virus, according to Professor Keith Neal, professor of epidemiology of infectious diseases at the University of Nottingham. Now Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, has said indoor pools can reopen in England on 25 July, in a daily briefing from Downing Street. He said people will no longer have to "work out on their living room floors" and that people should "work out to help out". Mr Dowden said on Thursday, pools in England are permitted to reopen on 25 July. As with other sectors, like pubs and restaurants which have remained closed, many swimming pools will only open once they feel they can safely adhere to new guidelines. Richard Lamburn, head of facilities for Swim England, previously said they would ideally want three weeks' notice in order to reheat pools (which can only be done at an increase of 0.25 degrees an hour) and conduct microbiological tests. Duncan Goodhew, an Olympic gold-medallist and president of Swimathon, the world's largest annual fundraising swim, told Radio 4's Today programme in June that, of the 5,000 public pools in England, 10 per cent might never reopen. Life on the line: The Leicester street cut in half by lockdown Show all 8 left Created with Sketch. As with other lockdown measures, it is expected the government will release extensive guidance on how swimming facilities can become Covid-19 secure before reopening. For other industries these measures have included encouraging social distancing, keeping records of visitors for 21 days to help any potential NHS track and trace efforts, and providing hand sanitiser and washing stations to customers. But Swim England issued some guidance on 26 June, which gives us an indication of what swimmers might expect when they return to the pool. To reduce time spent in changing areas, consider arriving with your swimsuit under your clothes and ready to swim. Pre and post-swim showers should be conducted at home (even if facilities are open at the pool). Follow guidance on the duration of swim. Your swimming pool might implement slot times to ensure social distancing is adhered to and the maximum number of people can make use of the pool. If you are taking part in a swimming lesson with other people then ensure the following: 1. Gyms, pools, gigs and team sports to return Outdoor swimming pools and outdoor live theatre and festivals can resume from Saturday with social distancing in place, the UK government's culture secretary has announced, while indoor gyms, sports facilities and pools will be able to reopen from 25 July. Government guidance has been published for team sports to return from Saturday. Beauticians, tattooists and tanning salons are among the close-contact businesses that can reopen from Monday. The culture secretary said he was "heartened" to see "good British common sense" as lockdown measures have eased so far, but warned restrictions will be reintroduced if the virus starts to spike again. Two reports charting coronavirus cases in England show the number of people in the community with the disease is currently falling. John Lewis and Boots have become the latest of countless retailers to be hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown, announcing 5,300 job cuts between them. People in Scotland will be able to visit other households indoors and stay overnight as the country enters the next phase of lockdown easing, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the virus had been suppressed to a "low level". Meanwhile ministers in Northern Ireland have been discussing whether changes can be made to quarantine rules, following publication of a list of quarantine-free countries for people in England last week....you can read more about the latest social distancing and lockdown rules, with our updated guide.