Golf lockdown exemption debate to be heard by Parliament on Monday

Parliament to discuss whether golf can resume during England's coronavirus lockdown...

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 18 Nov 2020

Golf lockdown exemption debate to be heard by Parliament on Monday

Parliament will next week discuss whether or not golf can resume before England's lockdown restrictions end on December 2.

A petition to get golf courses back open for play and make them exempt from England's lockdown restrictions due to coronavirus was signed by more than 250,000 people, and so the latest debate will reportedly be heard in Parliament on Monday November 23 - nine days before the lockdown is lifted (subject to government approval). 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed earlier this month that golf courses, tennis courts and swimming pools were to remain closed when the one-month Covid lockdown came into force on November 5. 

"I must apologise to my honourable friend for not being able to offer the house a huge list of exemptions to the rules we've set out," said Johnson. 

"Because once you unpick at one thing alas the effectiveness of the whole package is compromised. That's why I want everyone to work together for the next four weeks to get the R rate under control so that we can open things up again in time for December."


He added: "We will look at all the suggestions made and at any exceptions we can sensibly make, but it is difficult to take out one part of the Jenga block without disturbing the whole package."

Johnson was then asked by another MP if golf could continue with restrictions such as a two-ball format only. 

The Prime Minister claimed that was "excellent suggestion that would be considered", but then downplayed the idea when revealing "golf will be able to resume in December."


In England's first lockdown due to COVID-19 back at the end of March, golf was one of the first sports to be re-introduced in mid-May, with players restricted to two-ball pairings with a person from outside of their own household. 

This included a number of healthy and safety measures in place around the golf course, such as players not touching the flagstick, and removing benches and bunker rakes.