England's beauticians, gyms and pools to reopen in more lockdown easing

Theatres in England will be able to hold outdoor performances from this weekend and beauticians can reopen next week in a further easing of the coronavirus lockdown. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 09 July 2020

England's beauticians, gyms and pools to reopen in more lockdown easing

  • Indoor gyms and swimming pools in England will also be able to reopen from July 25
  • Beauticians can reopen next week in a further easing of the coronavirus lockdown

LONDON: Theatres in England will be able to hold outdoor performances from this weekend and beauticians can reopen next week in a further easing of the coronavirus lockdown, a minister said on Thursday.
Indoor gyms and swimming pools in England will also be able to reopen from July 25, culture minister Oliver Dowden said at a news conference from Downing Street.
The latest moves follow the reopening of non-essential shops on June 15 and last weekend's reopening of pubs, restaurants, cafes and hairdressers.
Dowden said gym operators would have to use time-booking systems to limit numbers, operate reduced class sizes, space out equipment and step-up cleaning regimes.
"At the beginning we all stayed at home to protect the (National Health Service) and save lives, now the British public has a new part to play - it's time to eat out to help out, to enjoy the arts to help out and to work out to help out," he added. 


UK relatives of Daesh ‘Beatles’ victims relieved as trial nears

Updated 57 min 55 sec ago

UK relatives of Daesh ‘Beatles’ victims relieved as trial nears

  • The evidence regarding El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey was transferred to Washington immediately after Tuesday’s court ruling
  • The pair, who have been stripped of UK citizenship, are in the custody of US forces in Iraq

LONDON: Relatives of two Britons killed by a Daesh cell on Wednesday welcomed a breakthrough that advances the US trial of two Londoners accused of their brutal deaths.
The families of Alan Henning and David Haines said a ruling by the London High Court permitting the UK government to share evidence with US authorities about the suspects was a “huge result for us.”
“We have only ever wanted to see these two men being held accountable and brought to justice through a fair trial for their alleged actions,” they said in a statement released by the charity Hostage International.
The evidence regarding El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey was transferred to Washington immediately after Tuesday’s court ruling.
The pair, who have been stripped of UK citizenship, are in the custody of US forces in Iraq.
Kotey and Elsheikh’s four-member cell was dubbed “the Beatles” by their captives due to their English accents. They are accused of torturing and killing victims, including by beheading, and Daesh released videos of the deaths for propaganda purposes.
A two-year legal impasse concerning the suspects was broken last month when Attorney General Bill Barr said they would be spared execution if convicted after trial in the United States.
The United States wants to try them for the murder of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid worker Peter Kassig, during 2014-2015.
Taxi driver Henning and former aircraft engineer Haines, who had both gone to Syria to do aid work, were beheaded in 2014.
Another of the cell’s alleged victims was British photojournalist John Cantlie, who was kidnapped in Syria in 2012 and remains missing.
Cantlie’s sister Jessica Pocock told of the relatives’ intense frustration at the long legal wait.
“At times we felt absolutely desperate as to whether the legal system was ever going to be able to bring these two to justice — wherever they may be,” she told BBC radio.
“That was always terribly important to us to have a proper, fair trial. The families need nothing less than a fair trial,” she said.
The US Department of Justice welcomed the court ruling and expressed gratitude to Britain for transferring the evidence, although a trial date has yet to be set.