Golf Confirmed to Return in England on 29 March
It's going to be a slowly progresive journey back to something like normal, but for golfers in England, they will take a significant step forward on the 29th March, when courses are to set to re-open across the nation as per Prime Minister Boris Johnson's "cautious but irreversible" roadmap out of lockdown.
Commenting ahead of the PM's address to Parliament, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi confirmed to LBC that outdoor sports (including golf) would return by the end of March.
"Outdoor is safer and therefore we prioritise versus indoor. Outdoor sports - tennis, golf, outdoor organised team sports, grassroots football - will go back on 29 March.
"At the moment, it's outdoors versus indoors. Outdoors is the priority because it's where the transmission rates are much, much, much lower."
This scheduled resumption of play will occur almost exactly 12 months after the beginning of the first lockdown (23rd March), which saw golf courses throughout England close their doors for 51 days.
Following a stunning boom for golf in the summer, a later four-week lockdown started on 5th November, with courses re-opening in December, before the post-Christmas restrictions, combating new COVID variants and rising case numbers, began on 4th January.
Should play resume as expected on 29th March, this current shutdown for golf in England will have lasted for 84 days.
It's been a long wait for golfers in England, but it could still be a magical spring ahead for the Golfshake Community.
Four people from a maximum of two households are now able to meet outdoors for exercise in Wales, but that doesn't include golf, with stay at home travel measures remaining in place for now. First Minister Mark Drakeford will next review the current restrictions on 12th March.
Wales Golf has expressed its frustration that golf hasn't yet returned. "We are disappointed that the First Minister was unable to relax the current 'stay at home' regulations, which will now remain for a minimum of a further three weeks.
"We hope that golf and other outdoor sports will be able to return in some capacity following the next review on 12 March."
The Executive has extended lockdown restrictions within Northern Ireland to 1st April, but there is set to be a full review on 18th March. Before that, First Minister Arlene Foster will unveil a pathway to coming out of lockdown on 1st March, reminiscent of that revealed by Boris Johnson at Westminster.
The spiritual Home of Golf has been the outlier this winter, gratefully remaining open for two-ball play, albeit the inclement weather has often shut courses anyway!
Travel restrictions remain in place, however, meaning that golfers have to stay within their local authority area, which has proven frustrating for those who are members of clubs in other regions of the country.
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