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The UK government on Thursday further eased lockdown restrictions as it announced the reopening of pools, gyms and sports facilities and also team sports.

Outdoor pools and performances can resume from Saturday with social distancing in place, the BBC quoted Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden as saying.

According to reports, beauticians, nail salons and tattooists can also start functioning from Monday.

Meanwhile, Indoor gyms, sports facilities and pools will be able to reopen from 25 July, the BBC reported.

The government will issue the guidance for team sports to return from Saturday.

As of Thursday, the UK has recorded a total of 287,004 positive cases. In the last 24 hours, the UK has reported 85 deaths taking the overall count to 44,602.

The Culture Secretary said the normal life in the country was “slowly returning”.

He urged the people to buy the tickets for outdoor plays and musical recitals, and also support the local businesses, according to media report.

Oliver Dowden Covid-19 Presser 09/07 by .
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden holds a Covid-19 Press Conference in 10 Downing Street. (Picture by Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street)

As per the guidance measures issued for the reopening of sports facilities, the government advised to limit the number of people using a facility at one time, reducing class sizes and spacing out equipment. Face coverings will not be mandatory in gyms, the media reported.

The number of people to watch outdoor sports will be limited with strict social distancing measures.

The latest announcements come a day after the government announced a £30bn plan to save jobs and fuel country’s corona-battered economy.

It came as the second part of a three-phase plan, in which the measures designed to support jobs by focussing on skills and young people, create jobs with investment in shovel-ready projects and greening our infrastructure, and protect jobs through a VAT cut for the hospitality sector and a landmark ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ discount scheme for diners.

The ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ discount scheme will provide a 50 per cent reduction for sit-down meals in cafes, restaurants and pubs across the UK from Monday to Wednesday every week throughout August 2020.

The third phase will focus on “rebuilding”, with a Budget and Spending Review in the autumn.

The first 160 billion pound package, included 49 billion pounds of extra funding for the country’s vital public services like the National Health Service (NHS), paying the wages of nearly 12 million people and supporting over a million businesses through grants, loans and rates cuts.

National Gallery opened

The National Gallery in London has reopened its doors to visitors after being closed for more than 100 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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CORONA IN LONDON: The National Gallery and Trafalgar Square are seen with a few visitors in London. (Photo by Ray Tang/Xinhua)

As the first big museum to open in England after the lockdown easing, the gallery reopened on Wednesday with three one-way art routes of about 25 to 35 minutes through the collections, encouraging visitors to wear masks, reports Xinhua news agency.

The gallery’s director Gabriele Finaldi said the one-way routes were not compulsory and people were allowed to linger, but if a room gets busy, staff may ask people to move on.

After the longest closure in its 196-year history, the gallery will now be open for seven days a week with all visitors having to book time slots online.

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