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Golf courses in England will re-open before the end of March. So says the Sunday Times.

The newspaper has reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce an easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on February 22.

According to the Sunday Times, golf courses will be amongst the first wave of facilities to re-open following schools, which are expected to go back on March 8.

Initially, it is expected that play will be restricted to two-balls only.

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“A second easing of social distancing rules is expected at the end of next month with the resumption of outdoor sports – such as golf and tennis – two people from different households,” said the newspaper’s report.

“Ministers have drawn up a four-speed plan for restarting the economy, with all shops, pubs and restaurants open anywhere between early May and August.

“The whole country will move together through a series of national tiers – which may be different from those in operation last year – with reviews every fortnight.”

Golf courses in England have been closed since the most recent coronavirus mitigations measures came into effect on January 4. This is in spite of intense lobbying by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Group, which recently presented scientific evidence to support claims that playing golf can be done safely.

It shared a document entitled “COVID-19 Secure Golf in the United Kingdom 2021” with key ministers and decision-makers in Westminster.

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The paper showcases the steps taken by those in the industry to ensure players’ and staff safety by meeting the various COVID protocols, as well as the commitment to continue this and be able to recognise and adapt to the changing circumstances linked to the virus.

It also cites academic and scientific research that clearly demonstrate the link between physical activity and physical and mental wellbeing, including supporting the immune system and helping fight disease.

Golf courses in Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are also currently closed, with play only allowed in Scotland under certain conditions.


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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