Golf resorts, hotels and clubhouses in England have been given the green light to re-open from July 4 following the latest relaxation in the lockdown rules announced by the UK Government on June 23.
Hospitality venues including pubs, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs, will be able to open from that date, as long as they can demonstrate that they are ‘COVID-19 Safe’.
In order to make it more viable for the hospitality industry to open, the Government has given scope to relax the current 2m social distancing rules in certain instances to allow ‘1m Plus’, which means remaining 1m apart whilst taking other mitigation to reduce the risk of transmission.
England Golf, The PGA, BIGGA and the GCMA have all welcomed the decision giving guidance on re-opening and the steps golf clubs must take to ensure that their premises are ‘COVID safe’.
Along with a full risk assessment, measures that should be put in place should include: keeping a temporary record of customers for 21 days to assist with NHS Track & Trace requests; providing clear guidance on arrival of social distancing and hygiene measures in place at the venue; utilising contactless payment wherever possible; and calculating the maximum number of customers it is safe to accommodate taking into account either the 2m social distancing rule or new ‘1m plus’ rule.
Table service should be offered with a designated server wherever possible. In instances where bar or counter service is unavoidable, customers need to be prevented from remaining at the bar after ordering. The full guidance is available here.
Speaking about the latest relaxation in the lockdown rules, England Golf CEO Jeremy Tomlinson said: “The work done by those involved in golf during lockdown has been tremendous and that has enabled us to respond quickly and decisively. Like all, we welcome the safe easing of restrictions and look forward to welcoming back even more people – players and staff – to golf. That we have been given time to prepare the changes and the way in which the guidance has been presented is very helpful to clubs, shops and the wider industry.”
Rob Maxfield, CEO of The PGA, said: “Golf professionals have been working incredibly hard in recent weeks since golf returned and with restrictions easing, we hope to see more people getting to clubs throughout England and the UK. We will encourage our members to review the updated guidance and put in place the steps they need to ensure people can back onto courses as soon as possible.”
Golf clubhouses are expected to be able to open in Scotland from July 10.
England Golf has provided a checklist for golf clubs on the re-opening of clubhouses as part of its PlaySafe guidance.