UK to set out plans for reopening swimming pools and gyms

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would set out a timetable next week for when sectors of Britain’s economy which remain shuttered – such as indoor gyms, swimming pools and nail bars – would be allowed to reopen from their coronavirus lockdowns.

“Next week we will set out a timetable for their reopening, though of course I can only lift those remaining national restrictions as and when it is safe to do so,” he told reporters on Friday.

Britain allowed non-essential retailers to reopen last month and pubs, restaurants, cinemas and other leisure and hospitality businesses are due to open their doors again on Saturday, as long as they follow social distancing rules.

Johnson said his government would also publish guidelines next week for how amateur cricket matches – a traditional feature of British summertime – can start up again.

“We will be publishing guidelines in the next few days so that cricket can resume in time for next weekend,” he said.

While professional cricket has already been given the green light to restart, government advisors have been worried that the balls used in the sport could act as a vector for spreading the coronavirus.

England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, provided a glimpse of what the new guidelines for amateur games would look like.”Providing people don’t do things that are clearly not sensible, ranging from hugging the bowler if they’ve just bowled someone for a duck through to spitting on the ball, it should be possible,” he said.

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