Bowling alleys and casinos are to reopen in England tomorrow as lockdown easing resumes.

Last month, prime minister Boris Johnson “squeezed the brakes” on the government’s proposed lockdown easing strategy, announcing a series of venues would have to postpone their planned reopenings by a further two weeks.

Today, the Government has once again given bowling alleys, casinos, soft play centres and skating rinks the green light to open their doors.

Socially distanced audiences will also be allowed back in indoor theatre, music and performance venues, and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will be permitted.

Nightclubs and similar late-night “close contact” venues will remain closed.

While devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have the power to set their own timings for the easing of restrictions, Government has confirmed the new guidance will not apply to areas where local lockdown measures are in place.

The move comes as bigger fines have been introduced for failing to wear a mask in places where it is compulsory to do so.

Under current guidance, people who refuse to wear a face covering where it is required face a £100 fine, which can be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

The new measures will see that penalty repeatedly doubled for continued offences, up to a maximum of £3,200.

Commenting on the lockdown easing, UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said: “This is another welcome step to returning to some sort of normality. Lots of businesses like soft play and bowling alleys were feeling overlooked during this crisis. It’s great to see they can now begin to get up and running. It will help keep more businesses alive and valuable jobs open.

“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.”

 

 

 

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