Bowling alleys, stadiums and salons have lockdown rules eased from today

Fines of up to £3,200 come into force for repeatedly not wearing a mask as lockdown eases for bowling alleys, casinos, skating rinks and beauty salons from today.

The prime minister says he wants to ease restrictions to help people get back to work and enjoy things they have missed - but there will be tougher penalties for repeat offenders who flout the rules.

The maximum fine for not wearing a mask is to be doubled from £1,600 to £3,200 and fines of up to £10,000 are planned for "senseless" people who host or organise illegal raves that put lives at risk.

At the same time, rules have been eased to allow:

  • Bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos to reopen for the first time as well as indoor play and soft play centres
  • Beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas and barbers in England to offer all close contact services and treatments
  • Sit-down wedding receptions for up to 30 people to resume in coronavirus-secure premises
  • Indoor arts and music performances with socially distanced audiences
  • Sports and business events pilots to resume.

Announcing the latest lockdown shake-up, Mr Johnson said: "Most people in this country are following the rules and doing their bit to control the virus, but we must remain focused and we cannot be complacent.

"That is why we are strengthening the enforcement powers available to use against those who repeatedly flout the rules. At every stage I have said our plan to reopen society and the economy is conditional and that it relies on continued progress against the virus.

"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."

Indoor theatres, music and performance venues can also reopen with socially distanced audiences under updated performing arts guidance being published by the government, after a successful series of pilots. However venue bosses have said the chances of their premises receiving audiences is small - a theatre needs an average capacity of 70% to make a production financially viable, whereas social distancing will allow for numbers nearer 30%.

The piloting of some sporting events will also resume with a view to reopening competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place from 1 October. The first of these will be the final of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre across the weekend.

Last weekend, West Midlands Police shut down 125 parties and raves - and closed a pub - taking action to stop illegal gatherings and anti-social behaviour across the region.

Transport for London and British Transport Police have enforced face coverings rules 91,501 times, preventing 4,397 people from boarding, asking 3,030 to leave the network and issuing 341 penalty notices.


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