COVID-19: Scottish golfers learn fate as lockdown restrictions tighten

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Scottish golf courses CAN remain open despite a further tightening of COVID-19 mitigation measures outlined by the Scottish Government this afternoon.

Scotland is the only one of the four 'Home Nations' where golf is not currently banned as authorities step up the fight against the deadly virus.

It had been speculated that might change when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed Parliament in Holyrood today to impose a new set of sanctions upon the country. However, those fears have proven to be - for now at least - unfounded.

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From Saturday, six new rules will come into force across Scotland.

'Click and Collect' services will be limited to shops selling essential items, such as clothing, baby equipment and homeware, with collections to be made by appointment and outdoors.

Takeaways can no longer allow customers indoors. They must, instead, operate from a hatch or doorway.

It will also be against the law in all level four areas of Scotland to drink alcohol outdoors in public, whilst the Scottish government is reinforcing employers' obligation to allow their staff to work from home whenever possible.

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Home maintenance work will only be permitted within a private property if it is essential, whilst the stay at home message has been amended to  make it clear that people "must not leave or remain outside" their homes unless it is for an essential purpose.

For golfers, the only significant changes are that 'click and collect' from pro shops is no longer allowed for the time being, whilst clubhouses currently operating a takeaway service will need to be mindful of the new measures as it relates to those provisions.

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However, courses and driving ranges can remain open providing appropriate steps are taken to ensure compliance with the current guidance.

In England, meanwhile, a petition calling for courses to be re-opened has attracted almost 130,000 signatures at the time of writing. 

Courses were shut south of the border last week, following Wales and Northern Ireland in putting a temporary stop to play. Golf is also currently banned in the Republic of Ireland.

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