England Golf CEO Jeremy Tomlinson has welcomed the reopening of golf courses on December 2, and thinks they should now be exempt from any further lockdowns.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a lifting of lockdown restrictions, with outdoor grassroots sport allowed to resume in England next month – golf included.
“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).”
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.”
England Golf chief executive Jeremy Tomlinson also welcomed the news, and said that golf courses should now be exempt from any further lockdowns.
“I would like to think that it’s on the back of a complete wave of support, with regards to golf clubs opening again,” he told Sky Sports News.
“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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