An England Golf statement on Monday afternoon has provided further details on the news that golf courses can reopen for use in England from Wednesday morning, providing that certain social distancing protocols are adhered to.
Following on from the Prime Minister's address on Sunday night, where Boris Johnson announced that some sports could be played from Wednesday as part of the initial effort to ease some lockdown restrictions, England Golf and a number of the sport's other bodies met to clarify the statement and provide guidance to its golfers.
Despite the UK remaining at Level 4 on the new Covid alert system, people in England will be able to partake in unlimited exercise from Wednesday, including visiting parks, seeing loved ones in public areas and playing sports such as golf, tennis and swimming - something which was later confirmed by Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
This will come as a welcome relief to many golfers and golf clubs, with large numbers feeling that golf was one of the sports which has been safe enough to continue despite the lockdown due to the ease with which participants can distance themselves from one another.
On Monday afternoon, England Golf released an updated statement having discussed the matter with the government and other relevant golf industry bodies, as well as digesting the 50-page document released by the government which furthered outlined their plans.
The statement read as follows:
Under new government rules released today (11 May), the following groupings will be permitted upon resumption of play:
- Individuals playing golf on their own.
- Two-balls comprising of individuals from different households
- At the discretion of the golf club, members of the same household playing in two, three or four-balls.
Social distancing rules must be adhered to at all times.
Government stipulates: “Government is updating the rules so that, as well as exercise, people can now also spend time outdoors subject to: not meeting up with any more than one person from outside your household; continued compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain two metres (6ft) away from people outside your household; good hand hygiene, particularly with respect to shared surfaces; and those responsible for public places being able to put appropriate measures in place to follow the new COVID-19 Secure guidance. People may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish.
“You can only exercise with up to one person from outside your household – this means you should not play team sports, except with members of your own household. People may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there, because this does not involve contact with people outside your household.”
Both golfers and golf clubs should now look towards the recent guidance set out by golf's governing bodies regarding operations, resuming play and essential maintenance in order to facilitate and safe and smooth transition back to an open golf course.
With England Golf still looking for further clarification from the Government on the matter of Pro Shops and driving ranges opening, it is expected that more guidance on the matter will be given this week, so keep checking back to Golfalot as well as looking out for any updates from your own golf club for all the latest news.
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