Golf courses must close in England

Editorin Health & Safety

Golf courses in Scotland can remain open - with two-ball restrictions - as the country enters a new lockdown, but English golf clubs must close for its new lockdown.

Everyone in England must stay at home except for permitted reasons during a new coronavirus lockdown, Boris Johnson has announced.

In a televised address, the prime minister urged people to follow the rules immediately amid surging cases and patient numbers.

This means that "outdoor sports venues - such as golf courses, tennis courts and outside gyms - must close," said a spokesman.

"Amateur team sports are not allowed, but elite sport such as Premier League football can continue."

In a statement, England Golf said: "Golf clubs, golf facilities - both indoor and outdoor - and driving ranges will be required to close during this full lockdown. As such, coaching will not be permitted.

"Golf retailers will be able to operate a click-and-collect service where goods are pre-ordered and either collected off the premises or delivered."

"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."

The prime minister urged the public to follow the new rules from midnight tonight - with MPs given a vote to approve them retrospectively on Wednesday.

Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, ordered the country to stay at home amid a fresh Covid-19 lockdown from midnight in a bid to contain the new, faster-spreading strain of the virus.

Outdoor gatherings are to be cut back, with people only allowed to meet one person from one other household, and group exercise banned, until at least the end of January.

However, Scottish Golf has stated: "Golf courses can remain open for play with a maximum of two players from up to two households."

"Golfers must stay close to home, travel only for essential purposes and in line with the new legislation."

This follows the announcement about English golf clubs in Tier 4 last month - in which two-ball golf was allowed, including even if the golfers are not from the same household.

The statement led to the Scottish Golf website crashing.

The England Golf website and social channels are regularly updated and we will communicate any new information as soon as it is available.

Full UK government guidance and details of the national lockdown in England can be found here

*The All Party Parliamentary Group for Golf (APPGG) consists of MPs and Peers from any political party working with industry bodies to provide direction for golf during the COVID-19 crisis. The group is chaired by Craig Tracey (MP for North Warwickshire), with the industry represented by the following organisations: American Golf; The Belfry; the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association; the British Golf Industry Association; England Golf; the Golf Club Managers' Association; Golf Ireland; the Golfing Union of Ireland; the Irish Ladies' Golf Union; IMG; The Professional Golfers' Association; PING; The R&A; Scottish Golf; Syngenta; the UK Golf Federation; Wales Golf

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