Lockdown in Leicester is to be partially eased from Wednesday (19 August), allowing some businesses and venues to reopen again after months of closure.
Despite changes to some rules, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that not all restrictions can be lifted as the number of coronavirus cases still remains too high in the city.
What rules have lifted?
From Wednesday (19 August), nail bars, beauty salons and tanning booths are allowed to reopen, while guidance informing outdoor music venues and theatres to stay closed has now been dropped.
Spas, massage and tattoo parlours, along with body and skin piercing services, will also be permitted to resume business again.
In the seven days to 14 August, Leicester had 193 new coronavirus cases, which was down from 226 in the previous week, according to government figures.
While the fall in cases marks positive improvements from when restrictions were first imposed, Leicester still has one of the highest infection rates in the country.
Which businesses remain closed?
Here’s the full list of businesses and venues that must continue to remain closed in Leicester city:
- skating rinks
- bowling alleys
- indoor play areas, including soft play areas
- exhibition centres and conference halls
- indoor gyms
- indoor fitness and dance studios
- indoor sports courts and facilities
- indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks
The government has also advised that indoor performances, even with a socially distanced audience, should not restart.
This also applies to close contact services which include any treatments on the face, such as eyebrow threading or make-up application, and wedding receptions and celebrations for up to 30 people in the form of a sit-down meal.
What are the rules on household gatherings?
Current restrictions on gatherings in Leicester will continue to remain in place as part of efforts to bring down the rate of infection.
As such, residents in the lockdown area will not be able to meet inside a private home or garden of someone they have not formed a “support bubble” with.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said that infection rates are still too high for a full easing of all restrictions, meaning guidance on household gatherings will continue in line with that in place in Greater Manchester, parts and West Yorkshire and East Lancashire.
Shielding for the most vulnerable will also continue, but with a slight easing in Leicester to allow individuals to meet in a group of up to six people outdoors while maintaining social distancing.
As for outdoor gatherings, people should only socialise in outside public places, such as parks, in groups of up to six people from multiple households.
Gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is exclusively from two households or support bubbles, and must not exceed 30 people.
Police are able to take action against those that gather in groups larger than 30, including asking people to disperse and issuing £100 fixed penalty notices.