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Gym, swim and sauna? Here’s exactly what’s opening up next in London

What is reopening and when as we come towards the end of phase two of lockdown easing?

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While you might have only just gotten used to the luxury of leaving the house for a beer or hitting up Mr Toppers for a trim, things are about to shift in the city all over again. Yesterday (Thursday July 9), the government outlined exactly which businesses in England would be allowed to reopen next and over the course of the coming weeks.   

In July, London will slowly start to see the return of indoor gyms and swimming pools, tattoo parlours, nail bars, beauty salons and spas. Not only that, but outdoor theatre performances have been given permission to go ahead for the summer. Rather than a big date for the diary – like with ‘Super Saturday’ on July 4, when bars, restaurants, hairdressers, art galleries, museums and cinemas all got the green light to reopen – different types of venues will have a staggered return over the coming weeks. Here are some dates for your diary. 

Saturday July 11 (aka tomorrow!) 

From tomorrow, outdoor pools can open again to the public. The emphasis remains on the great (and safe) outdoors, with outdoor theatre also back from Saturday. Grassroots sports activities are also back on, beginning with cricket.

However, don’t expect London’s lovely lidos to spring back immediately. Hackney Council has already confirmed London Fields Lido won’t be back right away and Tooting Bec Lido has said it hasn’t had enough notice from the government in order to reopen by July 11, either. But Charlton Lido is reopening from tomorrow, as is Parliament Hill Lido – now taking bookings for one-hour swimming slots. 

Monday July 13

Tatts are back! You can get inked again from Monday, as ‘close-contact’ venues are allowed to resume service. This new rule includes beauty salons and nail bars and even extends to spas. 

But hold on a second before you get on the blower to fix a long overdue appointment – these venues still face some serious restrictions. Facial treatments are still not permitted, and that includes lash and brow services. 

As for spas, their steam rooms, jacuzzis, treatment rooms and pools can reopen, as long as venues are deemed Covid-secure and social-distancing measures are maintained. 

Saturday July 25

They’ve had to wait a little longer than initially expected, but in a couple of weeks time, indoor gyms will be back in the game. That includes indoor leisure centres and swimming pools. However, they’ll be hit with limitations in terms of how many people can use facilities at once.   

So far, some of the big gym groups have confirmed their return: Virgin Active is reopening on Saturday July 25 and Pure Gym will be welcoming back members from Monday July 27. Psycle and Gymbox are pencilled in for a comeback as soon as it’s allowed again, too. We’ll keep you updated as more of London’s smaller gyms and studios announce their return to help you get back into post-lockdown shape. 

We took a look at how gyms might be once they’re allowed to reopen.  

What is currently open in London?

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