GYMS, swimming pools, fitness suites and dance studios can reopen in Leicester from Tuesday (8 September).
Following a drop in local coronavirus infections, the Government announced tonight (Friday) that it was lifting the restriction, which has kept the city’s indoor sports facilities closed since March.
However, restrictions preventing people from different households meeting in each other's homes or gardens are to stay in place.
Facial treatments in beauty salons are also still banned, and facilities including bowling alleys, casinos and soft play areas must stay closed.
The Government has said it will review the restrictions again by Friday 11 September.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “We have been calling for the city’s gyms and sports facilities to be allowed to open so it’s good that this is finally happening.
“We are though still puzzled and frustrated about restrictions remaining on people meeting in gardens, given the range of other different activities being allowed.
"This just doesn’t make sense.
“Our case numbers have been steadily reducing over the past few weeks thanks to our extensive testing programme and people’s hard work and patience.”
People in Leicester who are clinically extremely vulnerable are strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and continue shielding until at least 23 September. Under the guidelines, anyone shielding can meet outdoors in a group of up to six people, including others not from their household, while keeping socially distanced.
While Leicester’s infection rate is still high, the numbers have fallen from 159 cases per 100,000 people in the 7 days to 24 June, to 25.9 cases per 100,000 people in the 7 days to 29 August,
The city council’s leisure centres will reopen on a phased basis from Monday 14 September.
Anyone noticing the first signs of coronavirus – which could include a high temperature, a continuous cough or changes to their sense of taste or smell – must stay at home and arrange a test immediately.
To book a test at a testing centre in Leicester, go to www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or call 119.
Anyone testing positive for Covid-19 must self-isolate at home for at least 10 days, or until their symptoms have gone. Anyone living in the same household as someone who tests positive must stay at home for 14 days to stop the virus from spreading.
Advice for everyone in Leicester remains as follows:
- Stay 2m apart from anyone outside of your household
- Wash your hands regularly
- Limit your contact with other people
- Wear a face covering on buses, in shops, in hospitals and in any confined space
- Don’t meet up with other people in their homes or gardens
- Book a test and self-isolate as soon as symptoms appear at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
- No internet access? Call 119 to book your test
- If you test positive, continue to stay at home for at least 10 days and until you feel better
- Members of your household should stay at home for 14 days