Gym, spa and salon owners have cheered the Government’s latest rollback on current lockdown restrictions to allow them to reopen sites later this month.
Nail bars, beauty salons and spas will be able to reopen to the public from Monday – with safety restrictions in place, the Government announced.
Meanwhile, gyms and leisure centres will be able to reopen from July 25, while restrictions will also relax on outdoor entertainment and amateur sport.
Richard Darwin, chief executive of The Gym Group – which runs 179 gyms across the UK, said he was “delighted” by the announcement.
“Reopening gyms is an important step forward for the physical and mental wellbeing of our members and millions of other gym goers, and we can’t wait to welcome them all back,” he said.
“We are really confident our new procedures will ensure that we can operate safely, with distanced equipment, enhanced cleaning and our busyness tracker to help manage the number of people in the gym.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the Government has made “a number of positive visits to gyms in recent weeks” as firms in the sector were eager to reopen for the first time since March.
He said that sites will need to introduce measures such as booking times systems, reduced class sizes, spaced out equipment and enhanced cleaning, in order to welcome customers again.
Duncan Bannatyne, owner of health club and spa firm Bannatyne Group and star of Dragon’s Den, said: “I am incredibly pleased that we have a definite date for reopening our 57 health clubs in England.
“The fitness sector is vitally important, both for the nation’s health and the economy.
“In my discussions with ministers over the last week or so, I was gratified that they understood that the majority of health clubs could reopen safely and that it was essential to do so.”
Tanning salons and tattoo parlours are among businesses which will be able to reopen from the start of next week.
The Feel Good Group, which runs 90 tanning salons across the UK, welcomed the Government’s decision to allow its shops to reopen on July 13, but said they should be able to reopen immediately.
Adam Mooney, founder and chief executive, said: “While we welcome the decision to finally allow us to reopen, the Government could have allowed us to open last week, when hairdressers reopened.
“We are ready to reopen today, not next week.
“More than 90% of our staff are women, and most in the 18 to 25-year-old age group, which is the demographic which has been worst hit financially by the pandemic, and they are very keen to get back to work.”
Government confirms: Beauty, tattoo, tanning businesses along with gyms and swimming pools in England can reopen later in July. Read FSB's response to this latest announcement: https://t.co/J1uhOPKWib pic.twitter.com/0xXlNOSCCt
— FSB (@fsb_policy) July 9, 2020
Mike Cherry, national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), 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.”