Events reopening back on track as prime minister announces go-ahead for small weddings and pilot events

14 August 2020 by
Events reopening back on track as prime minister announces go-ahead for small weddings and pilot events

The reopening of events in England has been given the go-ahead by the prime minister from this weekend, after initial lifting of restrictions planned for 1 August were paused.

Wedding receptions for up to 30 guests will be permitted from tomorrow, as will the piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators, and pilots at event venues to plan how to restart indoor business events, except for areas where local restrictions are in place.

Provided rates of infection remain at current levels, sports venues will reopen to fans with social distancing measures in place, and business events and conferences will be permitted to resume from 1 October.

Further reopenings include indoor theatres, music and performance venues, bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos; while beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas and barbers across England will be able to offer all close contact services. Nightclubs, however, must remain closed.

UKHospitality has welcomed the news that further elements of the hospitality sector in England will be permitted to reopen from tomorrow.

Indoor theatres, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences. Wedding receptions in the form of a sit-down meal in a COVID-secure location for up to 30 guests will also be permitted. Indoor soft play, bowling alleys, skating rinks, spas and casinos will be permitted to reopen.

UKHospitality welcomed the step, but the trade body also reiterated its concern over the lack of a plan for the reopening of nightclubs.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "This is another welcome step to returning to some sort of normality... Opening up indoor performances is great news for theatres and music venues and the same goes for wedding receptions. Even in reduced numbers, permitting couples to push ahead with weddings that will have taken no small amount of planning is very positive news.

"We are still concerned that there appears to be no plan for the reopening of nightclubs, though. Clubs all around the country are now at a very real risk of going out of business. We need a plan for their reopening immediately."

Johnson said: "Today, we are able to announce some further changes which will allow more people to return to work and the public to get back to more of the things they have missed. However, as I have always said, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if required, or to continue to implement local measures to help to control the spread of the virus."

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden added: "The nation's hard work to keep the virus under control means we can now make further careful progress on recovery with allowing audiences back for indoor performances, fans back at sports events and the reopening of more Covid-19 secure leisure businesses.

"We must all continue to Stay Alert but today's welcome news means these organisations can finally get going safely, and we can enjoy more of the things we love as a nation. I have no doubt that they will work incredibly hard to keep their fans, patrons, and customers safe."

Photo: Shutterstock

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