Businesses ‘delighted’ to reopen in latest easing of England’s lockdown

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Businesses have said they are “delighted” to be welcoming customers back through their doors on Saturday as part of the latest easing of lockdown restrictions in England.

It comes after the Prime Minister announced that fines for repeatedly refusing to wear a mask could soar to £3,200 and organisers of illegal raves could face a £10,000 penalty.

Casinos and bowling alleys are among the venues now allowed to reopen under the latest guidance.

The move to allow indoor performances follows a “successful series of pilots”, Downing Street said.

Tattoo studios, beauty salons, spas and hairdressers can now offer additional services, including front-of-face treatments such as eyebrow threading.

The lockdown restrictions were due to be eased on August 1, but a spike in coronavirus cases at the time resulted in a pause for two weeks.

Easing the lockdown in England
(PA Graphics)

Alice Bellamy, 67, from Calne in Wiltshire, has been a beauty therapist for 27 years and runs specialist laser hair removal studio Woman to Woman & The Male Perspective Ltd.

She said she was delighted to be offering a wider range of treatments again.

She added: “I am indeed delighted. One day’s notice is not amazing but it’s typical of the total ineptitude of this Government and its handling of this pandemic.

Coronavirus – Thu Jul 9, 2020
Alice Bellamy runs the specialist laser hair removal studio Woman to Woman and The Male Perspective Ltd (Alice Bellamy/PA)

“I have booked in a facial treatment (Saturday) morning already and I have got lots more coming in the next week that I couldn’t do previously.”

The easing of the restrictions come after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tougher fines for people repeatedly not wearing a mask.

At present, people who refuse to wear a face covering where it is required, without having an exemption, face a £100 fine, which can be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days, but under the new measures, that penalty will double for subsequent offences, up to a maximum of £3,200.

Coronavirus – Fri Jul 24, 2020
A shopper wearing a face mask leaves the High Cross shopping centre in Leicester (PA)

Grosvenor and Genting casinos both said they were looking forward to opening the majority of their casinos.

A Genting spokesman said it will be limiting numbers at all its venues to ensure social distancing can be maintained, visors and masks will be available for staff and customers, and more than 400 hand sanitiser stations had been installed at its casinos.

He added: “This is what we have been building towards for some time now, and the delays we have experienced have of course been hugely frustrating and damaging to the business.

“The reopening is therefore incredibly exciting for all involved and we cannot wait to welcome customers back into our casinos.”

Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK
(PA Graphics)

It said its coronavirus safety measures include a capacity cap, voluntary PPE and face coverings for guests and staff, hand sanitiser stations, and screens available on gaming tables and machines.

Jonathon Swaine, managing director at Grosvenor Casinos, said: “While it has been a hugely challenging time for the industry, the health and safety of our customers and team has always been our top priority.

“We’ve been ready to reopen safely for a number of weeks and we are delighted we can now finally welcome back our customers to enjoy our casinos safely once more.”

Hollywood Bowl said that 48 of its 61 centres were reopening on Saturday, with each operating with reduced numbers of lanes, reduced customer capacity, and groups restricted to a maximum of six people.

Coronavirus – Tue Jun 16, 2020
Hollywood Bowl staff had prepared to reopen last month before the easing in the leisure sector was delayed until August 15 (Steve Parsons/PA)

He added: “We’ve been ready to reopen in the fully Government-approved Covid-secure way for many weeks and our trained teams are eager to get back to work.

“Our centres are spacious and well-suited for social distancing, and we’ve put in place wide-ranging hygiene and sanitisation measures.”

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