Friday, 4 Dec 2020

15 things to do before lockdown 2.0 begins

As England prepares to be plunged into a second national lockdown from Thursday, people have been out enjoying their freedom while they still can.

In a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus, Boris Johnson announced a shutdown of non-essential businesses until at least December 2.

People will also be asked to stay at home and to avoid trips outside, unless for essential reasons such as shopping for food, exercise, to go to work or for education.

Once the restrictions are lifted, Boris Johnson says the country will return to its regional three tier system, meaning places like gyms, bars and betting shops may remain closed for longer in more high risk parts of the country.

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With less than three days to go, here’s a list of things to take advantage of before the start of lockdown 2.0.

1. Get a haircut

As the first lockdown was extended multiple times, many Brits found themselves sporting caveman hairstyles until barbers were finally allowed to reopen on July 4.

Some got their clippers out and tried to cut their own hair, with some pretty terrible results.

Unless you’re not bothered by a shaggy barnet or don’t mind your roots being on show during Zoom meetings, now might be a good time to make a booking with your hairdresser.

2. See your family

New restrictions mean people must not leave their homes or be outside, unless for specific essential reasons outlined by the Government.

You will only be able to exercise in a public outdoor place with members of your household or one other person, making family reunions a a bit complicated.

You won’t be able to go to your nan’s for tea, unless she lives alone and decides to form a support bubble with you, so now might be an ideal time to visit relatives and loved ones.

Tier two and tier three restrictions on visiting other households still apply until the new lockdown comes into effect.

3. Go to the pub

Hospitality venues including pubs and bars will once again be forced to close under the new lockdown.

Under the new rules, boozers will not be able to serve takeaway pints, but they will still be allowed to sell food to go.

However a potential loophole means businesses may sell alcohol for consumption off the premises provided customers order online, by telephone (including text), or by post.

4. Eat at a restaurant

Wednesday night if your last chance to enjoy a meal at a restaurant, which will also be forced to shut.

If you live in a tier one area, you might be able to eat indoors with your friends as part of a group of six.

5. Get a tattoo

Tattoo studios are among the list of non-essential businesses to close.

So if you’re dying to get inked or are halfway through a piece that needs finishing, now might be a good time to book an appointment.

6. Play bingo

Bingo halls, betting shops and casinos are all set to close from Thursday.

Depending on which tier your area is eased into after lockdown, these businesses might not open up again straight away.

Many areas under tier three were told to keep casinos and other places with high-touch surfaces closed.

7. Get your nails done

Beauty salons are also on the list of businesses to close, as well as massage parlours.

So if you were thinking of treating yourself to a manicure, now might be a good time to get one.

The shutdown will also apply to tanning salons and non-medical acupuncture.

8. Go Christmas shopping

Obviously you will still be able to shop online, but many people still prefer perusing brick-and-mortar stores.

Popping into the shops after work is more convenient for some people and wandering through the aisles can be a great source of inspiration if you’re not sure what to get someone.

But under the new lockdown rules, non-essential retail will be forced to close.

However, these businesses can stay open for deliveries to customers and for click-and-collect.

9. Go to the cinema

Cinemas have taken a big hit during the pandemic, with Cineworld announcing plans to close all of its UK and Ireland venues, putting 5,500 jobs at risk.

If you’re keen to support the arts and love the immersive experience of the big screen, Wednesday night could be your last chance to book tickets.

Figures in the industry spoke to Metro.co.uk about the future of cinema and said ‘we cannot survive without the public supporting us’.

10. Visit a museum or an art gallery

Art galleries and museums are also under threat as they face closing for at least a month from Thursday.

After hearing the news, director of the Museums Association advocacy group Sharon Heal tweeted: ‘Solidarity from Museums Association to all museums that reopened & now have to close; to all those furloughed, unfurloughed & soon to be refurloughed & to those that have been made redundant or face the prospect.’

The British Museum says it will close at 5pm on Wednesday and hopes to re-open in early December.

It’s worth checking out whether any of these places are hosting any online exhibitions.

11. Go to a theme park

Theme parks, water parks and outdoor play areas will all be ordered to shut from Thursday.

Many sites require customers to pre-book as they are operating at limited capacity, so check online if you’re planning a last minute day out with friends and family.

Alton Towers has said it doesn’t know when it will re-open as the future remains uncertain.

12. Visit a zoo

Zoos, other animal attractions and botanical gardens are all set to close later this week.

The outbreak has already dealt a serious blow to zookeepers and industry figures fear the latest announcement could cause even more damage.

A Whipsnade zoo spokesperson said: ‘While we understand this national action is necessary to curb the spread of coronavirus, it adds a huge burden to an incredibly tough year for us.

‘Our focus throughout has always been keeping our animals happy and well cared for, and knowing we would be able to share the joy of the zoo with visitors again.”

‘But once more we will need to shoulder the costs for the food and care of our 20,000 animals with no way to generate income for ourselves.’

13. Hit the gym

Gym facilities, swimming pools are all on the list of places to close from Thursday.

This includes sites that are outdoors as part of the Government’s efforts to reduce social contact.

Industry figures have hit out at the order, including PureGym, who claim 10 million people ‘rely on gyms for their physical and mental wellbeing’ and say their service is essential.

The new lockdown rules also apply to climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges and dance studios.

14. Go bowling

Bowling alleys, arcades and gaming centres will all be ordered to shut from midnight on Thursday.

If you’re in a tier one area, you can still go tomorrow night with a group of six people from any number of households.

Otherwise you will have to go with your own household or support bubble.

15. Play golf

Golf courses and tennis courts will be forced to close, despite being outdoors and a way for people to stay fit.

If you’ve been struggling to keep up with the ever changing rules, don’t worry too much.

Earlier today, senior minister Michael Gove wrongly suggested people could play singles tennis or golf in pairs during England’s lockdown.

Despite being able to go for a walk outside with a member of a different household, this does not extend to outdoor leisure facilities.

This morning Gove shared a link to Government guidance, tweeting: ‘My apologies, I got this wrong.

‘Outdoor leisure facilities including tennis courts and golf courses will be closed from Thursday.’

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