Golf club pro shops and high street golf retailers have been given the green light to reopen from mid-June, subject to being able to meet the government’s Covid-19 secure guidelines.
Prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed on May 25 that non-essential high street retail operations would be permitted to resume from 15 June.
Most pro shops have been open for the payment of green fees since May 13, with retail areas closed off. This new directive will enable them to sell golf equipment, including clubs, apparel, shoes, trolleys, gloves, balls and accessories.
“From 15 June, we intend to allow all other non-essential retail, ranging from department stores to small, independent shops, to reopen,” said Johnson. “This change will be contingent upon progress against the [government’s] five tests and will only be permitted for those retail premises which are Covid-secure.”
New guidance has been published for the retail sector [here] setting out the steps they will need to take to meet social distancing and hygiene standards.
It features three key tenets: increased handwashing and surface cleaning; encouraging homeworking wherever possible or otherwise making “every reasonable effort” to observe two metres’ social distancing; and mitigating risk where social distancing is not possible.
These measures could include using screens or barriers to separate people, rearranging offices or premises to promote back-to-back or side-to-side working, and breaking down workforces into smaller ‘fixed teams’ to reduce contact.
The guidance adds: “No one is obliged to work in an unsafe work environment.”
While the guidance has been developed with input from the UK’s devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, public health is a devolved issue so there may be additional considerations for agencies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to consider before they are able to reopen.
Johnson stressed the government would have powers to enforce compliance, if necessary. Businesses will only be able to open once they have completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and are confident of being able to manage Covid-19 risks.