Coronavirus lockdown: Should golf courses be allowed to stay open?

Over 100,000 people have signed a new petition calling for golf courses to remain open during the latest lockdown in England; golf facilities have been made to close on multiple occasions during the coronavirus pandemic

By Ali Stafford

Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood are among the golfers backing a petition to have the reopening of golf courses during lockdown debated in parliament.

An online petition was launched shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson placed England under a national lockdown on Monday, the third in 10 months, in an attempt to combat the spread of Covid-19.

The latest petition to overturn the closure in England, put forward by Paul Marton, has received more than 100,000 signatures – the required number to be considered for debate in parliament – in less than 48 hours.

Golf courses and driving ranges are among the sports facilities ordered to close in England as part of the tighter restrictions, although outdoor exercise is allowed once per day and can take place with one person from another household.

Courses in Scotland will remain open for golf to be played under strict conditions, with two players from up to two households allowed to play at a venue “close to home”, while clubs in England are currently set to remain closed for at least the next six weeks.

Titled “Allow golf to be played with appropriate safety measures”, the petition says: “The Government should allow golf courses to remain open during the lockdown, and any future restrictions.

“Shops and clubhouses can close, but courses should be allowed to remain open, with social distancing in place.

“The risk of Covid transmission is lower outdoors, so there is no reason for golf to be stopped. It provides important exercise for many people and has numerous mental health benefits. Don’t allow golf to be stopped.”

Golf courses were among the first sports facilities to re-open after the first UK-wide lockdown in March, before being forced to shut again for the four-week lockdown in November.

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