All golf clubs, golf courses and golf facilities to close in England as part of new lockdown announced by UK Government to combat the spread of coronavirus; golf can continue in Scotland as part of their tighter Covid-19 restrictions
By Ali Stafford
Golf courses in England have been ordered to close as part of new lockdown restrictions, although facilities in Scotland are able to remain open.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday evening that England would go into a third national lockdown in less than a year due to the rapid rise in coronavirus cases, with people instructed to stay at home apart from a limited number of exceptions.
Outdoor exercise within your local area is permitted under the new restrictions – provided it is alone, with a member of your household, support bubble, or with one other person – although all indoor and outdoor sports facilities, including golf clubs and driving ranges, must close during lockdown.
In a statement, England Golf said: “England Golf – as part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf along with other leading industry bodies – is extremely disappointed with the news, having made a strong case in recent months to keep golf open during the national lockdowns and in the regional tier system.
“It is with great regret that we share this news with you, but please be assured that we will continue to make the case for golf to reopen whenever possible.”
An online petition to allow golf to be played with appropriate safety measures has received over 9,000 signatures within hours of first being posted, with Lee Westwood among the golfers to support the motion.
Scotland has also ordered a March-style lockdown until at least the end of January to combat the spread of Covid-19, although golf falls under the list of “reasonable excuses” allowed to leave home.
Outdoor exercise, including golf, is permitted for a maximum of two players from up to two different households, providing it is no more than five miles from the boundary of your local authority.
Karin Sharp, the Chief Operating Officer of Scottish Golf, said: “As has been the case throughout the pandemic, we have worked alongside both sportscotland and the Scottish Government to demonstrate that golf is a sport that can be played outdoors with physical distancing and increased safety measures in place. We are pleased that this continues to be recognised.”
Golf courses have been closed in Wales since the country entered Tier 4 restrictions on December 20, while all golf facilities in Northern Ireland have been shut since their latest lockdown began on December 26.