Coronavirus: Golf courses to close across UK after tight new measures
By Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 24/03/20 11:03am
Golf's administrative bodies across the UK have all issued statements ordering golf courses to be temporarily closed to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.
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Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement on Monday evening, where stricter measures on the movement of people were introduced, England Golf, Scotland Golf and Wales Golf all confirmed that courses must now shut until further notice.
In a statement, England Golf said: "Following on from the Prime Minister's statement tonight (23 March), golf clubs, courses and facilities in England must now close.
"It is England Golf's position that this deeply regrettable, but highly necessary and responsible course of action must be implemented with immediate effect and be maintained until further notice.
"The government has identified an urgent need to introduce new restrictions on public life and on non-essential businesses opening their doors. This has been done to limit the spread of the coronavirus and relieve the growing pressure on our National Health Service.
"Keeping golf courses open is simply no longer compatible with the updated policy of government which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency. The health and wellbeing of the nation is the only consideration that matters at this moment in our history.
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"The golf industry cannot be shielded from the economic and social ramifications caused by this temporary shutdown of normal life. We would like to assure the golfing community that England Golf staff will continue to work remotely with all affiliated golfers, clubs and counties to try and minimise the damage caused by this suspension of regular golf club life."
The new measures mean the only reasons for leaving the house are shopping for necessities, travelling to work as a key worker, medical emergency, caring for a vulnerable person or for one form of an exercise a day, all to be undertaken alone or with members of your household.
A statement from Scottish Golf added: "While golf is an outdoor sport that allows players to exercise in the fresh air, the message to all of us is clear, we must stay home and play our part in containing the spread of COVID-19.
"With this in mind, Scottish Golf asks that all golfers in Scotland refrain from golfing until further notice. We understand that this advice will have a significant impact on golf clubs across the country and we will continue to consult with industry partners to provide clubs with all information and support possible during this time of deep uncertainty.
Following the P.M.’s statement it is clear that golf clubs, courses & facilities must close with immediate effect. Keeping golf courses open is simply no longer compatible with gov policy which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency. Statement to follow in a.m.— Wales Golf | Golff Cymru (@wales_golf) March 23, 2020
"We know that these decisions are difficult ones to make, but right now, it is our shared responsibility to prioritise the health of our local communities by working together to follow the Government guidelines. In doing so, this will ensure that we get the opportunity to play the game that we all love as soon as it is safe to do so."