Covid: Gyms and all shops to reopen after English lockdown


Gyms and non-essential shops in all areas are expected to be allowed to reopen when England’s lockdown ends.

On Monday afternoon, PM Boris Johnson will explain the detail of England’s return to the “three tier system” when lockdown ends on 2 December.

While parts of the tier system will be tougher, the 22:00 GMT closing time for pubs and restaurants will be relaxed, alongside gyms and shops reopening.

And mass testing will be introduced in all tier three areas, the PM will say.

Mr Johnson will say rapid testing with military support, as used in Liverpool, will form part of the stricter system.

Testing will also be rolled out for care home visitors across England from next month – with every care home resident able to have two visitors tested twice a week.

It means people who live in care homes will be able to hug relatives by the end of the year, the government has said.

Meanwhile, the ban on outdoor grassroots sport is also set to be lifted.

More areas are set to be placed in the higher tiers – high risk or very high risk – after lockdown, No 10 has said.

Details of which tier every region of England will be put into are expected on Thursday.

Gyms and non-essential shops have been closed in England since 5 November, but are expected to reopen in all areas. Gyms were previously allowed to open in tier three, despite initially being told to shut in some places.

Under the new plans, last orders in pubs and restaurants allowed to open will remain at 22:00, but customers will have an extra hour to drink up.

However, it has been reported that pubs in tier three will only be open for takeaway – while those in tier two must serve substantial meals, even to outdoor customers.

The PM had hoped to announce arrangements for the Christmas period on Monday, but this has been delayed until at least Tuesday to allow the Scottish and Welsh cabinets to agree the plans.

It comes after the government said the UK’s four nations had backed plans to allow some household mixing “for a small number of days” over Christmas.

One option that was discussed in meetings this weekend was that three households could be allowed to meet up for up to five days, according to the BBC’s deputy political editor Vicki Young.


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