We wanted to share two significant updates for the tourism industry made by the Government last night – one regarding the resumption of the easement of restrictions from 15 August, and the other regarding the introduction of 14-day quarantine for people travelling from a number of markets, including France and the Netherlands, from 04.00 BST on Saturday 15 August.

Some of the remaining aspects of England’s culture, sport, leisure, and business sectors will be permitted to reopen from Saturday in England, except for specific areas where local restrictions are in place, as follows:

  • Indoor theatres, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences under updated performing arts guidance published by the Government.
  • Wedding receptions in the form of a sit-down meal in a COVID-secure location for up to 30 guests will now be permitted.
  • A number of pilots will now be able to take place at event venues across the country to help plan how best to restart indoor business events and implement social distancing practices. Business events and conferences will be permitted to resume from 1 October, provided rates of infection remain at current levels.
  • Indoor play and indoor soft play, bowling alleys, skating rinks, and casinos will be permitted to reopen. 
  • Beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas, and barbers across England will be able to offer all close-contact services – including front of the face treatments such as eyebrow threading, eyelash treatments and facials – from 15 August under new guidance. 
  • The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume from 15 August with a view to reopening competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place from 1 October. This will commence with the final of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre during 15-16 August, with a full pilot programme to follow. 

At the same time, the Government has announced a series of tough new enforcement measures targeting the most serious breaches of social distancing restrictions, including significantly increasing fines in the coming weeks for repeatedly not wearing face coverings where mandated. All staff offering close contact services, including hairdressers, are now required to wear a face mask (type 2 surgical), in addition to a clear visor that covers the face.

Updates to travel corridors

The Government has announced that people arriving in England from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba from 4:00am Saturday 15 August will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks as the countries are removed from the travel exemptions list.

All travellers, including those from exempt destinations, will still be required to show a completed passenger locator form on arrival into the UK unless they fall into a small group of exemptions.