Change made to plans to re-open English golf courses

Course Closed Sign

Following criticism of new coronavirus lockdown measures announced by the Prime Minister last night, the Government has today clarified its position around the re-opening of English golf courses this week.

In new guidelines, published at 2pm this afternoon, it has been explained that you can play golf with someone you do not live with.

Originally, it was reported that golfers could either play only with somebody from the same household or on their own. 

However, following today's clarification, people in England will be allowed to play with a maximum of one other person from a different household - so long as social distancing measures are observed - as of Wednesday. 

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The new guidelines state: "From Wednesday 13 May, the government will also allow outdoor sports facilities – such as tennis and basketball courts, golf courses and bowling greens – to open, but you should only use these alone, with members of your household, or with one other person from outside your household, while keeping two metres apart at all times,"

These new guidelines came after England Golf issued a statement in which it revealed its intention to start "lobbying government today in order to publish the best operational guidance for our clubs and golfers ahead of Wednesday’s return to play."

It added: "We will communicate guidance after our discussions with government and other industry partners as soon as it is practicable. We appreciate your patience and understanding at this time."

• Scottish golf courses "must stay closed"

The easing of the lockdown restrictions only applies in England. Golf courses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will remain closed until further notice. 

Earlier today, Scottish Golf released a statement saying: 

"Following on from the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, we are writing to confirm that the position outlined by Scottish Golf on Friday, 8 May for Golf in Scotland remains unchanged. The message is still clear – Stay at home and save lives.

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"We remain in daily dialogue with the Scottish Government and other golfing bodies throughout the UK, to ensure that when it is deemed safe to do so in Scotland, that we are ready to support our golf clubs with a concise protocol for reopening.

"We will update our membership as soon as the Scottish Government agrees a plan on a safe return to golf. Scottish Golf would like to thank all of our members for their continued support in following the guidelines in such difficult times."

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