Gyms & swimming pools can re-open after lockdown and outdoor grassroots sport is BACK on, Boris Johnson confirms
GYM bunnies and sports fans will finally be able to train again after the lockdown is lifted, Boris Johnson said today.
The Prime Minister confirmed this afternoon that the strict rules for sports-lovers and fitness fanatics will be lifted.
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Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will be able to reopen in all three tiers.
It comes after a campaign by MPs and sports groups that they should be exempt.
It meant that even kids league matches were unable to take place outside school – but they could continue inside their grounds.
And critics argued that the virus is less likely to spread outside anyway, so matches and other sports should be allowed to take place.
From December 3 they will be able to resume once again.
The new rules, which will come in next week include:
- Households will be only able to meet up in Tier 3 in outdoor spaces like parks
- Pubs and restaurants in the top Tier will have to stay shut – but drive-throughs and deliveries can continue
- Tier 2 pub rules will be toughened, with only places serving food with drinks allowed even outside
- Pubs, restaurants, casinos, bowling alleys, soft play areas, museums, galleries and cinemas in Tier 3 will have to stay shut
- Gyms and beauty salons can open across the nation – and all shops will open their doors again
- Brits will be able to go to see football matches in the lower tiers from December 2 onwards
- Elderly Brits will be able to come out of care homes to spend Christmas with the family if everyone tests negative
- New parents with a kid under one will be allowed to form support bubbles
- The Rule of Six will return across all Tiers but the 10pm curfew will be moved to 11pm
- Weddings will be allowed to take place with 15 guests – but receptions are banned in Tier 3, and collective worship can continue
The Health Secretary warned the fresh rules will be “lighter” than the national shutdown – but tougher than the system in place before.
Tier 4 plans have been abandoned by ministers, he confirmed today.
Areas with the worst infection rates won’t be forced into a draconian Tier 4 – like in Scotland – which pushed areas into measures akin to full lockdown.
Mr Hancock told the BBC: “The number of cases is now starting to fall across the whole of England, so we do think we can replace the lockdown with a tiered system.
“But the tiered system, whilst lighter than lockdown, will have to be stronger than previous tiers that were in place.”
Crucially the highest level of lockdown – Tier 3 – will have to have even tougher rules in place to push case numbers down.
Mr Hancock stressed that the previous shutdowns, which put huge swathes of the North of England were in “very high” Covid alert level, were not enough.
“We saw that the previous Tier 3 rules could essentially get cases flat not bring them down.”
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Most of the country is expected to return to the most stringent Tier 3 or high risk Tier 2.
Areas living under Tier 2 will have to follow rules that were previously in place in the highest Covid level – meaning pubs will only be able to serve booze alongside a “substantial meal”.
And punters will only be able to dine indoors with people they live with.