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 Theatres, casinos and bowling alleys reopen in England 16/08/2020
Jessica Murray, Alex Mistlin and agency
• Latest easing of restrictions

Theatres, casinos and bowling alleys are opening on Saturday as part of the latest easing of lockdown restrictions in England.

From Saturday, physically distanced audiences will be allowed back into indoor venues, while wedding receptions of up to 30 people will also be permitted.

Tattoo studios, beauty salons, spas and hairdressers will all be able to offer additional services, including front of face treatments such as eyebrow threading.

Danielle Simm, manager of Kolo Hair and Beauty, said she was excited to be starting up beauty treatments, with a huge waiting list of keen customers.

“I had a massive list full of clients ready. I said I’d open up on the Sunday [2 August and then obviously Boris [Johnson] didn’t even give us 24 hours notice and it all got cancelled. People are literally desperate,” Simm said. “It’s been really frustrating because they’ve opened up the pubs but said we can’t work.”

She will be wearing a mask and face visor for treatments, with the hair salon already up and running physical distancing and hygiene measures to keep customers safe.

Hollywood Bowl said 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.

Stephen Burns, the chief executive of Hollywood Bowl Group, said: “It’s a great relief to finally have clarity on when we can reopen after such unexpected and long delays. 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. ”

Grosvenor Casinos, which has a portfolio of 52 casinos across the UK, said it was reopening 35 in England. Coronavirus safety measures include a capacity cap, voluntary PPE and face coverings for guests and staff, screens on gaming tables and machines, hand sanitiser stations and contactless payments.

Jonathon Swaine, managing director at Grosvenor Casinos, said: “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.”

Genting casinos said it would be opening the majority of its casinos on Saturday. A spokesman said: “After weeks of meticulous planning, we are fully confident that our casinos are ready for re-opening. 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 re-opening is therefore incredibly exciting for all involved and we cannot wait to welcome customers back into our casinos.”

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

Meanwhile, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said an estimated 160,000 holidaymakers were expected to try to return to the UK from France on Friday before the new quarantine measures were brought in.

Travellers returning to or visiting the UK from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos and Aruba after 4am on Saturday will be required to self-isolate for two weeks.