Restrictions relax as quarantine tightens
By Rob Freeman | 14th August 2020
Businesses which had their plans to reopen cut short at the last minute will finally get the chance to return from tomorrow.
Close-up beauty treatments, soft play centres and small wedding receptions were among those who were due to resume on August 1.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson postponed the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions with less than 24 hours notice, ending trials of limited spectators at sporting events.
Those restrictions will now be lifted from tomorrow, but the maximum fine for not wearing a mask in required areas is to be double from £1,600 to £3,200.
And anyone entering the UK from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Aruba and Turks and Caicos will need to quarantine for 14 days from 4am tomorrow.
The relaxed restrictions in England mean:
- Beauty treatments such as facials, eyelash treatments, eyebrow threading and make-up applications can resume, although all staff offering close-contact services - including hairdressers - will have to wear a face mask and a clear visor.
- Wedding receptions for up to 30 guests will be permitted.
- Indoor theatre and live performance venues can open to socially distanced audiences.
- Trial sporting events with spectators can resume, starting with this weekend's final of the World Snooker Championship which saw entry stopped after the first day.
- Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and soft play areas can reopen.
- Conference venues can run pilot events ahead of a planned resumption from October 1.
- Restrictions in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are imposed by the devolved administrations.
- Nightclubs remain among venues which are unable to open.
Mr Johnson said: "We 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.
"Most people in this country are following the rules and doing their bit to control the virus, but we must remain focused and we cannot be complacent.
"That is why we are strengthening the enforcement powers available to use against those who repeatedly flout the rules."
The decision to add France to the list of nations requiring quarantine for travellers has sparked a rush among travellers to get home before the 4am deadline with about 160,000 British holidaymakers believed to be in the country.
Eurotunnel said it has no empty places before the deadline and urged travellers not to turn up hoping to get a ticket.
France said it would take "reciprocal measures" after the move, which the Government said follow the infection rate exceeding 20 cases per 100,000 people.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC: "We've worked so hard in this country to get our level of infections down, the last thing we want to do is to have people returning and bringing the infection with them. It's to protect everybody."
What do you think? Is the Government right to extend the quarantine measures? Do restrictions need tightening or have the relaxations of the rules not gone far enough? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
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