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. 


French PM pays homage to aid workers killed in Niger

Updated 6 min 43 sec ago

French PM pays homage to aid workers killed in Niger

  • PM Jean Castex sought to assure the parents of the four women and two men that all of France mourned their passing
  • The six, their Nigierien guide and driver, were killed on Sunday in a wildlife haven about an hour’s drive southeast of Niamey

PARIS: France’s prime minister led a memorial service Friday for six aid workers killed in Niger in what investigators said had likely been a premeditated attack targeting Westerners.
As the six caskets lay side by side in the VIP section of Orly Airport south of Paris, where the bodies arrived Friday from Niamey, Jean Castex sought to assure the parents of the four women and two men that all of France mourned their passing.
“In front of these six coffins... I want first of all to express the pain, the incomprehension, the anger of all French people,” said the premier as he saluted the youngsters’ generosity and altruism.
“The victims of this attack came to Niger to do good. They met with evil.”
The six, their Nigierien guide and driver, were killed on Sunday in a wildlife haven about an hour’s drive southeast of Niamey.
The area is a popular destination for weekend leisure trips by Niamey residents, including foreigners.
They worked for French NGO Acted and were aged between 25 and 30.
“This incarnation of evil, France unfortunately knows it only too well... it is very likely the same hatred, the same cowardice, the same inhumanity at work in Niger and Bataclan,” the Parisian concert venue targeted by extremists in 2015, said Castex.
And he stressed there was “no question of giving an inch of ground to criminal fanaticism or to enemies of the freedom to act, think and engage.”
Earlier, a source close to an ongoing investigation by French anti-terror prosecutors told AFP the attack “appears to have been premeditated to target a priori mainly Westerners.”
France’s anti-terror prosecutor’s office said Monday it would probe charges of murder “with links to a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal terrorist association” in relation to the killings.
A team of 11 specialized investigators departed France for Niger the following day.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack carried out by gunmen on motorcycles.
But “given the modus operandi, the terrorist hypothesis is being favored,” the source told AFP.
Suspicion has fallen on Daesh in the Great Sahara, active in the shared border region of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, where it is being pursued by France’s Barkhane force fighting extremists in the Sahel.
The French investigation will seek to determine whether the assailants had been tipped off about the humanitarians’ visit to the national park.
French President Emmanuel Macron has described it as “manifestly a terrorist attack” and said there would be repercussions.
“We’re pursuing action to eradicate the terrorist groups, with the strengthened support of our partners,” Macron said.