In response to the Northern Ireland executives new Covid-19 restrictions, the Golfing Union of Ireland has confirmed that courses in Northern Ireland must close from Thursday, November 26th at 23.59… and just as golf in the Republic looks set to resume as lockdown measures ease.
The GUI update on the situation reads:
‘While it is acknowledged that golf has demonstrated itself to be a safe sport during the pandemic, the wider public health guidance must be adhered to and we encourage all golf clubs and golfers to comply fully with the advice of the NI Public Health Agency see https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/covid-19-coronavirusEmergency.
In the meantime, as is the case in the Republic of Ireland, we will continue to engage with the relevant authorities to ensure that golf courses can reopen as soon as possible.
The Unions acknowledge the efforts of all affiliated golf clubs throughout the year and would like to thank the volunteers, staff and members of all clubs for their work in ensuring our sport is played safely and responsibly. We, therefore, encourage all clubs to adhere to the latest NI Protocol Document on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 November, during which time golf clubs can remain open. This will ensure that our sport plays its part in reducing the spread of this virus.
The changes, as they affect all Sports, which will apply from Thursday night are as follows:
• Indoor and outdoor sport is not permitted, other than at elite level.
• Elite sporting events must be held behind closed doors without spectators.
• All sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios must close.
• Individual/ household outdoor exercise and school PE can continue
• Physical activities, such as walking, running, cycling, horse riding, or just walking the dog, bring many health benefits.
Full details of the new restrictions can be found at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/
Regarding elite sports, and having further clarified this matter with the relevant authorities, the same exemption for training only will apply as is currently the case in the Republic of Ireland. This means that Team Ireland professionals and all other tour professionals, as well as members of national ILGU and GUI panels, are permitted to continue training should facilities be available for this purpose.’