Keith Pelley: European Tour needs quarantine rules lifted to resume
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 28/05/20 4:02pm
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley was warned that their revised 2020 schedule is dependent on restrictions being lifted, although remains 'optimistic' that golf will resume in July.
The Tour announced on Thursday that they would restart their season with the Betfred British Masters on July 22, the first of six consecutive UK-based tournaments in as many weeks, as well as details about the rescheduling of four of their Rolex Series events.
Hotels remain closed due to lockdown restrictions and a two-week quarantine period for anyone arriving in the UK will be enforced from June 8, which Pelley admits will have to change before tournaments can take place.
"These events will all be behind closed doors and are all predicated on government approval, including the hotels being operational and the current quarantine situation in the UK being lifted," Pelley said in a media teleconference call.
"All our events and all events in sport universally are predicated on government restrictions, government regulations and following the WHO guidelines. We have informed the UK government, we have talked to them almost daily now.
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"We have submitted our health strategy to them and we have said to them, obviously, the hotels need to be operational and the quarantine needs to be lifted for us to be able to continue with these events.
"Our position has been to the government that lifting the quarantine is going to be critical for us to have a successful tournament. I'm certainly encouraged and I'm certainly optimistic. We wouldn't be announcing these events without having had significant dialogue with the UK government."
All players, caddies and staff attending each event will be subject to strict safety protocols, with tests before they arrive in a country and further testing before they arrive at the course.
Every person attending a tournament will have an antigen test at the start of the week, as well as daily Covid-19 symptom and temperature checks, with further testing then available if necessary.
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"What we've done is we've utilised robust risk assessment processes from the World Health Organisation, and each national Government," said Dr Andew Murray, the European Tour's chief medical officer.
"We are putting in place measures based on international best practice. These include social distancing, enhanced hygiene, increased medical capacity, and testing. The measures we are putting into place and people coming to our tournament also already have been tested.
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"What we are looking to do is ensure that the health and well‑being of all of our players is placed first. Risk assessment, consideration of the things that we can do and high standards of hygiene, athlete and staff education, minimising the number of persons on-site, these are all things that decrease risk."