Wales First Minister responds following criticism over golf club closures

Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford: "At this point in the pandemic when things are as serious as they are and the impact on our health service is as serious as it is, we have to have the maximum impact, and every little bit does help."

Jack Seddon's picture
Wed, 23 Dec 2020
Wales First Minister responds following criticism over golf club closures

Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford has responded to the public after he received a backlash for closing all golf clubs in the country under the latest level four restrictions.

Residents of Wales were furious with the Government for its decision to close golf courses, with many baffled as to why it could not be deemed a safe place to exercise.

Following the decision, Wales Golf CEO Richard Dixon sent a letter to the First Minister asking him to re-open golf courses immediately and now Drakeford has responded.

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Appearing on a live Q&A with WalesOnline, Drakeford said: "My post bag here is full of people saying 'why can't this happen? Why can't that happen? By itself it doesn't make any difference, it is safe'.

"At this point in the pandemic when things are as serious as they are and the impact on our health service is as serious as it is, we have to have the maximum impact, and every little bit does help.

"Now, in three weeks' time, if there is any headroom to ease things, it is those sorts of things we will look at first. It may be there will be opportunities for marginal things to be restored as we begin to see the effect of the current period [of restrictions].

"But I don't think it would have been sensible to start unravelling what we need to do at this point when the situation is at its most serious.

"Because just as golf and tennis have their advocates, behind them come the people who want to go fishing, the people who want to go flying pigeons. There is a never-ending group of people who want to make the case, and often can make on its own terms, a good case for why they should be an exception.

"Before you know where you are, you have unravelled the whole plan you set out with. Things in Wales are just too serious for us to do that."

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