News, Culture & Society

The bizarre Super Saturday rules that will see Britain reopen but unlike it’s ever looked before 

Britons have been warned not to ‘overdo it’ this weekend as bars, restaurants and other parts of the hospitality sector reopen their doors for the first time since the lockdown was imposed on ‘Super Saturday’.

But as thousands are expected to enjoy a trip to the cinema, a family meal out or even walk down the aisle, they first need to read the multitude of restrictions and limits put in place to enforce social distancing, and avoid a outbreak in infections.

There will be disposable hymn sheets in churches and a ‘bring your cutlery’ rule in some restaurants, while the cinema pick ’n’ mix will be empty and singing at weddings is banned.

Here, the Mail gives you a detailed guide to all the do’s and dont’s for your big day out as Britain reopens but unlike you’ve ever seen it before.

Weddings and civil partnerships can go ahead from tomorrow, but numbers are limited to 30 people. The tradition of the father-of-the-bride walking his daughter down the aisle has also been ruled out


What’s happening?

Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars can all reopen from tomorrow, with both indoor and outdoor seating options – subject to distancing guidelines – allowed. Reservations at popular spots are going fast, with some offering deals, discounts and free drinks to entice diners back.

What to expect:

You’ll have to book most venues, even pubs, with two- or three-hour reservation slots available. Table service only, with different groups spaced at least one metre apart, strictly-enforced queueing systems and one-way arrows on the floor.

Groups of more than two households are banned but you can meet up in groups of six if dining outdoors. Venues that were previously indoor-only have invested in picnic tables and outdoor garden lighting, while some have put up marquees and even plastic dining ‘bubbles’.

Ordering and paying will be cash free and customers will have to leave full contact details with the venue for 21 days for tracing purposes. Cutlery and condiments won’t be laid out on tables.

Some venues are even suggesting customers bring their own. Menus will be limited and there will be no live music.


What’s happening?

Discretionary reopening for all hotels, B&Bs, holiday apartments, caravan parks and campsites from tomorrow. The only exception is youth hostel dorms.

There are plenty of deals and discounts on both UK staycations and European breaks as venues encourage guests to return. Property owners are also allowed to visit second homes.

What to expect:

Pre-arrival health questionnaires, full payment on booking and, in many cases, digital check-ins (via tablet or app). Face masks are not obligatory but some venues will ask you to wear them in communal spaces.

Many lobbies will be equipped with digital temperature scanners to check guests’ health. There will be limited availability, with some venues quarantining bedrooms for up to 72 hours between guests.

There will be no mini bar or reusable toiletries. Guests will get sealed packs containing disposable essentials on arrival.

Some European hotels are installing electrostatically-charged mist and ultraviolet sprays to sterilise interiors, while others are researching robot butlers.

The breakfast buffet is no more, with table service only and staggered arrival times. Room service is encouraged. Gyms and pools remain closed.


What’s happening?

Hairdressers and barbers can reopen tomorrow, including freelance stylists who come to your home. But other beauty services – nail bars, spas, waxing studios, massage parlours and tanning salons, whether mobile or in a fixed location, remain off-limits.

Tattoo and piercing studios are also closed until further notice.

What to expect:

You’ll have to book, often months in advance, with popular hairdressers and barbers already running a summer-long waiting list. Service will be by appointment only, there will be health questionnaires and, in some cases, temperature scans on arrival, as well as compulsory hand sanitiser (not only for your hands but also to wipe down mobile phones).

Stylists will wear face masks in addition to transparent visors, and customers will be expected to bring and wear their own face covering.

There will be no refreshments, magazines or other personal touches, and many hairdressers are implementing a ‘no gossip’ policy to limit interaction.

Music will be turned down low to prevent shouting, and cloakroom facilities will be limited.

You’ll have to wear a disposable gown, and payment – taken before your haircut to ensure a swift exit – will be by card only.

Expect long delays as staff disinfect combs, brushes and scissors, as well as chairs and other treatment surfaces, thoroughly between clients.


What’s happening?

Outdoor playparks, skate parks and gyms will reopen from tomorrow, as will amusement arcades and outdoor skating rinks. Indoor gyms, soft play areas, bowling alleys, dance/fitness studios, and indoor and outdoor pools remain closed until further notice.

What to expect:

Equipment will be cleaned regularly and may be out of bounds for several hours a day while it’s being sanitised.

Capacity will be limited, with only children from the same household/bubble allowed to use each piece of equipment at a time. Prominent signs will remind those from different groups to remain two metres apart if possible, and some councils may urge visitors to wear face masks. Expect hand sanitiser stations and outdoor sinks with hand-washing facilities.


What’s happening?

All major theme parks, adventure parks, funfairs and model villages are set to reopen tomorrow, as are indoor attractions at zoos and safari parks, aquariums and enclosed areas of gardens, heritage sites and landmarks. Water parks and water rides remain closed.

What to expect:

Buy your tickets online and bring a face mask or covering. Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures recommend you wear them at all times (except children under six) and they’re obligatory on certain close-contact rides.

Capacity will be severely reduced to allow social distancing (including empty rows on rides) and stewards will be on hand to discourage mingling.

Parking will also be subject to distance guidelines, so expect a longer walk than normal to the entrance and more queuing.

Visitors will have their temperature scanned on arrival. Rides will be cleaned every half hour at most venues. 


What’s happening?

Weddings and civil partnerships can go ahead from tomorrow, but numbers are limited to 30 people, including the couple, witnesses, staff and officiants.

While legal ceremonies are allowed, government guidelines ‘strongly advise’ against receptions, permitting only ‘small celebrations’ that follow social distancing rules: either a group of up to two households indoors, or up to six people from different households outdoors.

What to expect:

Short, functional ceremonies, limited to the legally-binding bits, with no singing (recordings are suggested instead) and a maximum of 30 guests spaced well apart. This is expected to rule out the tradition of the father-of-the-bride walking his daughter down the aisle, as well as group photographs.

The bride, groom and best man must wash their hands before and after the giving of rings, with many venues installing hand sanitiser stations at the end of the aisle for this purpose.

Vows must be said quietly. Brass and woodwind instruments should be avoided – and, if singing or chanting is required (for religious reasons), it should be by one person only, and behind a screen if possible.

Face coverings are not obligatory but some venues may require staff – including officiants, photographers and waiters – to wear them throughout the wedding.


What’s happening?

Churches, mosques and other places of worship are open to the public from tomorrow, although private services such as funerals and baptisms are limited to 30 people.

What to expect:

Scheduled services only. Churches won’t necessarily be open for visitors to wander in, and more popular venues/services may be ticketed for advance booking.

While there’s no cap on congregation numbers, the two-metre (or one metre-plus if not possible) rule still applies, so not everyone will be able to worship inside at one time.

Expect screens and outdoor worship to maximise capacity, as well as floor markers and pews cordoned off to keep households/bubbles apart.

Visitors will be asked to wash hands on entering and leaving the building, and provide full contact details so churches can keep a log for 21 days.

There will be disposable hymn sheets, which members of the congregation should take home with them after the service. No collection plate will be handed round. Hymn-singing, chanting and loud music are not advised and only string instruments can be played. Face coverings are voluntary, and food and drink can be served only from registered cafes or canteens – no tea or coffee tables after the service.


What’s happening?

Staggered reopening of all major cinema chains. Showcase is the only chain to be reopening all its cinemas tomorrow.

Odeon will open ten venues up and down the country, followed by the rest on July 16. Everyman will follow the same pattern.

Vue will start reopening its cinemas on July 10, as will Picturehouse. Some Curzon cinemas will open on July 17, others on July 24 – and the rest on July 31. Cineworld won’t begin reopening its venues until July 31.

What to expect:

Allocated seating, online booking and staggered film times to regulate crowds in lobby areas. There will be one-way systems marked by cordons and floor arrows to ensure minimum contact between different households (see image right) as well as empty rows and several seats between groups.

You’ll have to download your tickets to your phone or print them at home, and they’ll be checked by a member of staff on arrival.

Customers will be asked to wash their hands on entry and exit, with hand sanitiser stations and anti-bacterial soap in all toilets.

Screens have been installed at most ticket and snack counters, with some chains offering pre-booked popcorn and drink options only. Seats will be cleaned more regularly, with Showcase even pledging to use anti-viral ‘fogging’ machines to deep-clean seats between films. 


What’s happening?

Community centres, social clubs and youth clubs can all reopen this weekend, as can libraries – both local and national – and bingo halls.

What to expect:

Hand washing on entry, two-metre social distancing and screens installed around receptions and ticket booths.

In clubs and bingo halls, admission will be strictly pre-booked only, while food and drink will be ordered and paid for online. Libraries will have hand sanitiser stations and ‘space marshals’ at the door to ensure they don’t exceed capacity, while librarians will scan books from behind a Perspex screen.

Borrowed books will be stored in crates and quarantined for 72 hours before being returned to the shelves.


Nightclubs and casinos will remain closed, due to risks of overcrowding and the difficulty of enforcing social distancing. Festivals are also banned, as are live crowds at sports matches, and there will be no summer barbecues, street parties or other gatherings of more than 30 people.

Exhibition and conference centres are also shut until further notice, and team sports such as cricket and football are not yet allowed.

While museums, galleries and cultural centres can technically open tomorrow, most are delaying for another few days or weeks as they prepare for the arrival of the public.

The National Gallery is the first major institution planning to reopen, on Wednesday, followed by the Royal Academy on Thursday, the Barbican Centre on July 13, and the Tate galleries on July 27. The British Museum and National History Museum are among those which haven’t yet set a date.


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