From August the 1st, bowling, ice skating and other beauty services can reopen, as well as indoor performances if safe to do so. Greater contact between family and friends remains under review.

Meanwhile, from Monday (20/07) changes will be announced to give more local control when treating outbreaks of Covid-19 infections. However, the Prime Minister also said today (17/07) indoor play centres will remain closed and that means many could go bust.

Trade organisation BALPPA and soft play operators lobbied at Westminster to try and get a date to reopen before they go under.

  • Report by ITV News Meridian's Heather Edwards:

A party atmosphere and some colourful characters, but they came to Westminster with a serious message. With no date from the government as to when indoor play centres can reopen, the future is looking bleak.

  • Nigel Tyler, Kids Planet Folkestone:

For some, the battle is already lost, with debts of more than £100,000.

Martina Bottini has decided to shut her play centre in Reading.


We've been closed for six months, nearly. We've not had any turnover. We can't pay the rent. Obviously we've had great support from the Government with the furlough scheme and the business rates, but we personally haven't been able to access any business grants to assist us at this time, and at the moment all we're doing is really racking up debts.

Martina Bottini, Krazy Playdays Reading

  • Laura Stocking & Nailah King, Staff at Krazy Playdays:

Playgrounds have reopened, and after months of being stuck at home are once again full of children.

In contrast, the indoor play areas are empty and silent.

The indoor play areas are empty and silent Credit: ITV News Meridian

Some parents are now taking the matter into their own hands, raising money to try and save the play centres from closure.

  • Sharon Fielding, customer:

Some parents are now taking the matter into their own hands Credit: ITV News Meridian

Back at Westminster, and the mascots are on the move.

The National Children's Bureau is very concerned about the impact the lockdown has had on children and has called on the government to prioritise them during the recovery.

Today, however, the Prime Minister confirmed indoor play centres will stay shut. Many may never have the chance to reopen.

The National Children's Bureau is very concerned about the impact the lockdown has had on children Credit: ITV News