Golf courses will be able to reopen in England from December 2 when the four-week national lockdown is due to end.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday a lifting of lockdown restrictions for next month, with outdoor grassroots sport allowed to resume in England.
“The announcement paves the way for golf to return at all COVID-19 alert levels within the Rule of Six, permitting fourball play without restriction on number of households,” read a statement released by England Golf.
“Coaching, fitting and ranges will also be allowed to open, as will indoor hospitality facilities in tiers one and two (those in tier three can continue a takeaway service only).”
The decision to allow golf to resume came as Parliament debated a petition, signed by more than 257,000 people earlier this month, which called for golf courses to be made exempt from the list of venues required to close during lockdown.
Speaking after the Prime Minister’s announcement, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf’s Chairman, North Warwickshire MP, Craig Tracey said: “I am sure all involved in golf in England welcome the sport’s return and the industry has yet again pulled together to form a coherent message to Government articulating why it was safe to do so.
“As was seen both before and during this lockdown, golf is a sport that can be played safely and the industry adapted quickly to manage the restrictions imposed previously.
“Golf now has operational experience and established COVID secure practices, including rule changes and other mitigation measures that meet the Hands, Face, Space directive.
“It is therefore ideally placed to welcome people back when lockdown ends in all the home nations.
“The health and wellbeing benefits of playing golf are well documented in scientific literature and leaders in public health, public policy and sport from across the globe recognise that golf tackles physical inactivity and contributes to the prevention of a range of non-communicable diseases.
“Combining the undeniable benefits that golf offers to a significant proportion of the country, and the steps taken that ensure golf is a sport that can be played safely, the golf industry looks forward to welcoming players back and is confident it can meet future restrictions.”
‘Golf courses should be exempt from further lockdowns’
England Golf chief executive Jeremy Tomlinson is pleased that outdoor grassroots sport is allowed to resume next month and says golf courses should now be exempt from any further lockdowns.
Speaking about the Government’s decision, Tomlinson told Sky Sports News: “I would like to think that it’s on the back of a complete wave of support, with regards to golf clubs opening again.
“Obviously our hope and desire is that golf clubs and golf courses remain open. They become exempt in the future for any further lockdowns. That would be our desire. But it’s great news.”
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