LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out on Friday a timetable for the further easing of lockdown measures in England, including plans for the return of audiences to sports stadia and the resumption of conferences.
Leisure venues, including bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos, will reopen from Aug. 1 and wedding receptions will be allowed for up to 30 people. Nightclubs will remain closed.
Indoor performances to a live audience will also restart, subject to the success of pilots.
The government will also carry out pilots, beginning later this month, in different capacity venues, including sports stadia and business conferences.
The British government will stop telling people to work from home and give more discretion to employers to decide whether it’s safe for staff to return to their workplaces.
Close contact services, such as facials and eyebrow threading, will be allowed to resume.
Schools, nurseries, and colleges will be open to children and young people on a full-time basis.
If prevalence remains around or below current levels into the autumn, the government will allow audiences to return to stadia, and conferences and other business events will restart.
If prevalence falls very significantly, the government will review the necessity for outstanding lockdown measures and allow a more significant return to normality, according to the published easing plan.
This would start with removing the need to distance people, while retaining limited mitigations, such as face coverings and plastic screens in shops.
“It is my strong and sincere hope that we will be able to review the outstanding restrictions and allow a more significant return to normality from November at the earliest – possibly in time for Christmas,” Johnson said at a news conference on Friday. (Compiled by Costas Pitas and William James; Editing by Alistair Smout and Barbara Lewis)