Note: Please ignore previous version which alluded to Level 4 restrictions. This Protocol applies to ongoing Level 5 restrictions in the Republic of Ireland. All clubs copied for information.
To Club Communication Officers,
As you know, the Government has confirmed that golf will be one of the first sports to return to full participation during the ongoing Covid Level 5 restrictions on Monday 26 April. From that date, all golf clubs can reopen for play within the limitations set by the Government. Coaching activities for underage players can also resume from that date.
This decision is a testament to the great work done by clubs to keep golf safe during 2020. That strong track record has been crucial in our making the case for golf to resume before most other sports and sectors of the economy and society. While we would have obviously preferred an earlier date for our resumption of activity, we welcome the fact that we now have clear date for which to plan.
Given the continuing seriousness of the public health situation, the Government has put some limitations on the initial phase. These are reflected in the Return to Golf Protocol which has been finalised in consultation with Sport Ireland and the Expert Group on Sport. The main purpose of this protocol is to keep golfers and the wider community safe and we urge you to continue to comply with its measures when golf resumes.
A specific issue that has been raised by a number of clubs is the potential impact of continuing travel restrictions and we have raised this directly with government on a number of occasions. I am pleased to confirm that golfers will be allowed to travel within their county, or 20kms from their homes to play. As a result, when golf resumes later this month, the vast majority of members will be able to travel to their home clubs for play.
As you all will have heard in recent days, the public health experts are warning of the danger of a serious deterioration on the Covid-19 situation in the coming weeks. That could put our progress in jeopardy, therefore, as we prepare for the long-awaited reopening of golf, we must make every effort to follow the public health measures and keep our communities safe.
Wishing you and your families a very happy and safe Easter break.