Daniel Box
By Daniel Box

Following the Prime Minister's COVID-19 statement on Tuesday afternoon which announced that some aspects of the lockdown in England had been eased, England Golf has released a statement clarifying the new rules and their relation to golf.

Golf Clubhouses To Reopen In England

The key announcement from the statement concerns the opening of pubs and restaurants by 4th July providing they can follow a set of guidelines, and England Golf has confirmed that this also extends to clubhouses opening to operate catering or bar facilities.

The statement reads:

Following the Prime Minister’s statements yesterday (23 June), further changes were made to lockdown rules that will be introduced next month in England and are of significance to golf clubs and organisations that operate bar or catering facilities.

The headline announcement is that pubs and restaurants will now be able to open from the 4 July as long as they can demonstrate that they are “COVID-19 Safe”. This includes those within golf clubhouses or other golfing facilities. In the first instance, a risk assessment should be carried out, the details of which should be shared with your workforce. For organisations of over 50 employees, this should be published on your website.

In order to make it more viable for the hospitality industry to open, the Government has given scope to relax the current 2m Social Distancing rules in certain instances to allow ‘1m Plus’, which means remaining 1m apart whilst taking other mitigation to reduce the risk of transmission.

Other measures include:

  • Keeping a temporary record of customers for 21 days to assist with NHS Track and Trace Requests

  • Providing clear guidance on arrival of Social Distancing & Hygiene measures in place at the venue

  • Utilising contactless payment wherever possible

  • Calculating the maximum number of customers it is safe to accommodate taking into account either the 2m Social Distancing rule or new “1m plus” rule.

  • Where PPE is already being used, it should continue to be, however workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE and risk assessment should reflect the limited role such equipment will play.

  • Table service should be offered with a designated server wherever possible. In instances where bar or counter service is unavoidable, customers need to be prevented from remaining at the bar after ordering.

The full guidance is available here and all involved in golf in England should review it as soon as possible so they can begin putting in place the necessary steps to ensure your business can continue to open-up safely.

The document includes practical considerations of how these new rules can be implemented, whilst being mindful that no two businesses are identical. Everyone is responsible for translating the guidance into the specific actions. Importantly, all will need to monitor measures to make sure they continue to protect customers and workers, so comprehensive checklists are included throughout the guidance to ensure the safety of everyone.

Whilst the news will undoubtedly come as a welcome relief to many golf clubs who have lost a huge proportion of income over the last few months thanks to their bar and catering being closed, England Golf are also keen to stress that clubs proceed with caution to ensure that protocols are followed, allowing members and employees to remain safe.

What is your opinion on the latest news regarding golf clubhouses? Are you looking forward to heading into your golf club bar for a well-earned drink following your round or will you be staying clear for the time being?

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