The Government has answered the questions that golfers across the UK are desperately asking, including when will we will be able to play golf again?
And why can't we play golf, but we can go for a walk or run?
Well, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf has put these questions to the Government and published the answers.
They've also shared the full details of the Covid Secure Golf report that they presented.
Here are some of the most important Q&As...
When will golf reopen in the UK?
The UK Government will review lockdown restrictions for England every two weeks. Any changes will be announced thereafter.
Why are some sports (plus running and walking) allowed but not golf?
The decision to allow certain sports and not others to continue rests with the respective national governments. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf continues to campaign for golf to be allowed as it has proved it can be played safely.
The decision taken by the UK Government regarding golf in England is outlined in the following statement from Health Minister Helen Wately MP in a debate on Public Health on 6 January:
"While with great reluctance we have had to keep most children out of school, we have also had to require outdoor sports facilities, such as golf courses, to close. Several hon. Members have challenged that, and I want to tackle it head on. I say to hon. Members who have raised this issue that if we made an exemption for golf, we would also have to make an exemption for other outdoor activities, such as tennis, outdoor bowling, climbing walls, riding centres, dry ski slopes and go-karting—I could go on. People would then say, “I’m being told to stay at home but I can go and do all those things, so you don’t really mean that I should stay at home.” Quite apart from the fact that people congregate in those outdoor settings, we need to be really clear that the message now is, “Stay at home.”
How many cases have emerged directly from playing golf on a golf course?
The paper COVID Secure Golf, prepared by industry bodies was presented by the Group’s Chairman to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and sent via MPs to Ministers and health officials in all home nations. It states:
"Test and Trace data is not published on positive contacts derived from playing golf but academic opinion canvassed from advisors to the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) indicates that any level of community transmission attributed to playing golf is likely to be extremely low and significantly lower than other environments such as shops, bars and beaches.
Why can golf be played in one country (ie Scotland) but not in others?
Both sport and COVID are devolved matters and legislation is enacted by the respective national governments.
What action is being taken to get golf courses open again?
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf and the industry bodies with which it works are in constant contact with Ministers and Officials to ensure they are aware of the impact golf’s closure has across all issues including: mental and physical wellbeing; jobs; local economies, and that golf has demonstrated it can be played safely in line with COVID precautions.
Full details can be found in the paper COVID Secure Golf, which was presented by the Group’s Chairman to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and sent via MPs to Ministers and health officials in all home nations.
What can I do to encourage the Government to change its position?
Write to your local Member of Parliament with your view and ask them to raise with Ministers.
Sign the petition to reopen golf courses by clicking here.
You can view all the FAQs and answers HERE.