The Handbook
The Handbook

If the answer to ‘how much do you bench?’ is ‘a dot matrix printer, three Evian bottles and a toddler’ then there’s good news, the gym’s opening again…

At the end of last week the government announced the next stage of post-lockdown re-openings, and they included plans to open gyms, outdoor theatres, pools, nail bars and beauticians, tattooists and leisure centres. Oh, and cricket, the ultimate socially distanced national sport that has somehow remained banned until now.

The announcement came as Culture Secretary (and dead ringer for Beaker off of The Muppets) Oliver Dowden presented a ‘special’ of the Downing Street briefing.

The new plans will saw cricket return last weekend (the one thing we’ve all been pining for…) along with outdoor theatres and outdoor pools. There presumably isn’t a theatre company in the country who can rehearse, produce and arrange to put on an outdoor play at 48 hours notice, but whatever.

If the answer to 'how much do you bench?' is 'a dot matrix printer, three Evian bottles and a toddler' then there's good news, the gym's opening again...

If your nails are now wizened, yellow and spiralled like one of those Guinness World Record holders, then fear not. Nail bars are back, along with spas, tanning salons and beauticians from today. So now you can slip off to get a cheeky tan, then make out to everyone that you’ve just come back from somewhere really exotic, oh wait…

However, you still can’t get your eyebrows waxed or make-up applied, a fact that hasn’t been lost on many who have pointed out that men can have their beards trimmed. Quite why you’d want to have a stranger right up in your face in the middle of a deadly pandemic isn’t clear, but accusations of sexism have been levelled at the government. Again…

Spas will open too, and this is big news as we already have a list of spas we can’t wait to visit! We’ll be padding around the halls of as many five star hotels as possible in flip flops and branded fluffy bath robes. Try and stop us.

The incredible spa with the dangly bit at Sea Containers London

Additionally, Boris took to the (online) airwaves and announced that offices should start to head back, apparently changing the work from home guidance we’re all used to from ‘work from home if you can’ to ‘go to work if you can’.

Finally, on Saturday 25th July gyms will fling open their doors as Britain attempts to make up for four months of muscle wastage. The same goes for indoor pools and leisure centres, which will be meaningful not only for anyone wanting to head down to their local pool but all of us planning a hotel mini break, where a dip in the pool is an essential part of finally relaxing.

Laying aside the curious fact you can get a back-sack-and-crack wax but you can't go and watch Agatha Christie's Moustrap at the theatre...

Laying aside the curious fact you can get a back-sack-and-crack wax but you can’t go and watch Agatha Christie’s Moustrap at the theatre, this is all good news. And of course this is all possible because our infection rate continues to fall. Despite the gradual reopening of business the numbers all seem to be going in the government’s (and our!) favour.

Let’s just hope that all those outdoor theatre-goers and amateur cricketers will be able to control themselves to keep it that way…