England Golf and Scottish Golf: Greenkeepers can still attend work

Tania
By Tania March 28, 2020 23:46

England Golf, Scottish Golf and BIGGA have issued guidance stating that golf course greenkeepers can still attend work during the UK lockdown due to coronavirus.

The separate but almost identically worded statements – sent after the prime minister’s address to the nation on March 23 – say the guidance has been issued after they sought clarification from the government.

The statement from Scottish Golf reads: ‘Following last night’s announcement, Scottish Golf has been working with partners from across the golf industry to seek further information from the government on guidance for greens staff.

‘Scottish Golf has today received the following advice:

• For security and essential maintenance purposes, greenkeeping staff can still attend work.

• All work must be carried out in strict accordance with government guidelines on social distancing.’

Greenkeeping association BIGGA added: ‘Today we have received the following information from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS):

‘“For security and essential maintenance reasons greens staff can still attend work.”

‘We believe this is only partial clarification. It permits greenkeepers to work on essential maintenance but does not clarify what that means. We are naturally seeking further clarification urgently.’

England Golf has also issued this statement: ‘In order to provide clarification for golf clubs following on from the prime minister’s statement of 23 March, we are able to inform you of the following:

‘For security and essential maintenance purposes, greenkeeping staff can still attend work.

‘All work must be carried out in strict accordance with government guidelines on social distancing.’

Earlier, England Golf, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf all issued separate statements saying that their affiliated clubs must close with immediate effect and that golfers should stay at home.

The prime minister issued an extraordinary statement to the nation at 8.30pm last night saying that the country was effectively in lockdown due to coronavirus. It wasn’t immediately clear what this meant for golf courses as parks are not being closed down and we are allowed to leave the home once a day for a walk, but the industry appears to have quickly united with a clear message.

‘Following the prime minister’s statement, it is clear that golf clubs, courses and facilities must close with immediate effect,’ reads a statement from Wales Golf.

‘While golf is a sport with many health benefits, keeping golf courses open is no longer compatible with government policy which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency.

‘This action is vital and we must stay home in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 and relieve pressure on the National Health Service.’

“These are incredibly testing times for the country and the golf industry but, during this unprecedented period, we will be working very closely with all affiliated clubs,” said Wales Golf chief executive Richard Dixon.

“Wales Golf Staff will be working remotely to support and advise clubs as much as possible.”

Jim Croxton, the CEO of BIGGA, added: ‘My understanding of the impact of tonight’s announcement – golf courses should close immediately. In my view some maintenance of courses is essential. We are lobbying for that to be more than the bare minimum, otherwise golf will take months to recover when the crisis is over.’

 

Tania
By Tania March 28, 2020 23:46

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