A change to England’s lockdown rules will see a welcome range of family-friendly venues reopen, from Saturday 15 August.
Soft play centres, bowling alleys and ice rinks are among the last businesses to remain closed in the wake of coronavirus. All three activities involve many people touching the same surfaces -- one of the chief ways in which coronavirus can spread. They will now reopen with strict cleaning regimes and the usual guidance on wearing masks and keeping distance from other households.
Indoor theatre performances can also resume, though also with socially distanced audiences (in face masks).
The change in the rules applies only to England for the time being.
These reopenings were due to be introduced on 1 August, but a rise in outbreaks postponed plans. It is not clear what has changed since then -- indeed, daily cases of coronavirus are gradually climbing. Parents should remain cautious when taking children to any public venue.
Although originally from the Midlands, and trained as a biochemist, Matt has somehow found himself writing about London for a living. He's a former editor and long-time contributor to Londonist.com and has written several books about the capital. He's also the father of two preschoolers.