Golf in line for "reprieve" from England's Thursday Covid ban

The Guardian claims golf, tennis and swimming "are in line for reprieves" ahead of England's Covid lockdown restricitions...

Andy Roberts's picture
Sun, 1 Nov 2020

Golf in line for "reprieve" from England's Thursday Covid ban

Golf is one of several sports "potentially in line for reprieves" ahead of England's latest Covid lockdown restrictions that come into force on Thursday, according to an article in The Guardian on Sunday.

The Guardian understands that "golf, tennis and swimming in particular are potentially in line for reprieves, with discussions ongoing at the highest levels about whether to allow sports to continue that can easily social distance."

The report claims that a final decision on golf's short-term future in the country will be made within the next 24 to 36 hours.

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is sending England into a month-long lockdown due to to the coronavirus pandemic from Thursday November 5 to Wednesday December 2. 

Upon hearing Johnson's speech to the nation on Saturday night, both England Golf chief executve Jeremy Tomlinson and Lawn Tennis Association's Scott Lloyd have hit back at the latest government guidelines that currently refuse the continuation of golf and tennis in England from Thursday.

In an open latter to "fellow golfers", Tomlinson said: "I would like to make it clear England Golf's intention to respectfully challenge the government's rationale for closing golf courses. 

"We will do so utilising all in our network - MPs, colleagues, media and friends - to make sure we are heard by government.

"Listening to the prime minister, the news that he is actively encouraging safe and responsible outdoor exercise for households or two individuals pointed to our great game of golf being at the heart of this policy.

"The guidance which followed stating that golf courses were on a list of venues which should close, therefore, appeared contradictory and came out of the blue."

 

 

Tomlinson also revealed that at no point was England Golf consulted about the decision to ban golf in the country during November.

"Of course we fully recognise and accept the need to suppress the virus to save lives and protect the NHS," said Tomlinson.

"Throughout the pandemic, England Golf has endeavoured to act with authority, knowledge, understanding and extreme diligence.

"At all times we have placed the health and wellbeing of our communities as a priority.

"For this and many reasons, it is our belief that it is counter-productive to shut down a healthy pursuit which naturally lends itself to social distancing and is played in a Covid-secure manner in the open air."

On Sunday morning, a petitiion to keep golf courses open in the country reached more than its required 100,000 signatures for Parliament to respond to the subject. 

RELATED: PARLIAMENT TO CONSIDER WHETHER TO KEEP GOLF COURSES OPEN

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"Isolation essential to the Government’s strategy for fighting coronavirus, and UK citizens must remain healthy and exercise whilst keeping adequate distance between people," reads the petition.

"The Government should allow golf courses to open so families or individuals can play golf in order to exercise safely.

RELATED: GOLF COURSES TO CLOSE IN ENGLAND UNDER NEW LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS

"This could be achieved on golf courses, whether families or individuals are playing rounds. On the course everyone can keep a safe distance from each other. Let's make use of the space and the open air.

"Golf can help people stay healthy and happy whilst observing social distancing rules."

NEXT PAGE: SKY NEWS CONFIRMS GOLF IS NOT ALLOWED DURING LOCKDOWN