An England Golf statement today has provided further clarification on the current status of professional shops, coaching and driving ranges, confirming that lessons can now recommence providing that specific guidelines are followed.
Whilst golf courses in England were given the go-ahead to reopen from Wednesday morning, question marks had still remained as to whether PGA Professionals and driving ranges were able to welcome golfers again.
The statement, released on Thursday morning, reads:
The UK Government has confirmed that one-to-one coaching is permissible under strict infection control measures, observing social distancing and must take place outside. In order to comply with this regulation, you should enforce strict hygiene measures and it is recommended that PGA professionals complete a comprehensive risk assessment and refer to the coaching guidelines on the PGA COVID-19 resource hub.
The UK Government has released updated documentation, which includes a section titled ‘Businesses and Venues’. It stipulates that, “All retail, other than those exempt, must close their premises to members of the public. However, staff may be present to make deliveries or provide services in response to orders such as those through telephone, online, or mail”.
As the list of exemptions does not currently include golf retail, these premises must remain closed, except for Click and Collect services.
Essential access to a building such as a Professional shop for Clubs which operate a booking system to regulate tee times and take payment, is permissible provided appropriate social distancing precautionary measures are put in place.
We continue to pursue clarification of the COVID-19 restrictions with regards to driving ranges and custom-fitting across the UK. We will update you as further clarifications become available. In the meantime, our advice remains unchanged: where there is any room for doubt the safest option should be pursued.
If any of you have managed to play already this week in England, and it hasn't gone too well, this news may have come just in time for you with the golf season seemingly about to get underway properly in the next few weeks!
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