Boris Johnson announced on September 9 that plans to pilot larger audiences in venues later in September would have to be revised. Indoor performances resumed on August 15.
Outdoor theatres reopened and other leisure venues, including cinemas, art galleries and museums, were allowed to reopen more fully from July 4, albeit with their own social distancing rules in place.
Suggested guidance in galleries and museums includes one-way systems, spaced queuing, increased ventilation and pre-booked tickets. Wearing a mask is mandatory in visitor attractions and entertainment venues. Cinemas are expected to sell only a certain proportion of seats for each movie and face masks are now mandatory.
Both the Cineworld and Picturehouse cinema chains have said film screenings will have staggered start and end times, and customers are likely to be required to queue outside before entering to maintain social distancing.
Once inside, families and friends who book together will be allowed to sit with each other at screenings, but it is likely that seats will be kept free between different bookings. However, there will be no pick ‘n’ mix or other self-service snacks.
Bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos
Casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks reopened on August 15.
All of the above premises are expected to have “Covid-secure” measures in place, which will most likely involve limitations on customer capacity.
Places of worship are reopening, but hymns are forbidden due to the higher risk of the virus being transmitted through singing.
Churches are encouraged to implement a “booking system”, meaning people may need to reserve their space ahead of services.
Worshippers are advised to bring their own bible or holy book to their place of worship with them. Where worshippers are unable to do so, books should be cleaned and quarantined for 48 hours since their previous use. Muslims should also bring their own prayer mat to services.
Communion is allowed if it is deemed “essential”, but worshippers should not drink from the same glass or share the same bread, which could come pre-wrapped. The priest distributing communion should wear gloves and all those involved in the practice should wash their hands before and after.
No hymns should be sung or wood instruments used as they create an “additional risk of infection”.
At christenings, if a family wishes to have their baptism as a private ceremony then the attendees must be limited to six people, excluding the officiant and others working at the ceremony. If the baptism is to happen within the course of communal worship – a service at which the general public can attend, not just an invited group, and normally referring to an advertised regular act of worship – then the numbers who can attend need to be assessed for the building to determine how many it can hold safely with physical distancing.
For christenings and other water rituals, only “small volumes” should be splashed onto the body with full immersion avoided. Those present should stand “distant from any splashes” and all those involved should thoroughly wash their hands before and after such ceremonies. Parents should hold their children throughout the christening service.