TIER 4 has affected the activities and sports we all love – but golfers can still indulge in a round despite the tough restrictions.
Despite various parts of the country plunged into the highest tier of Covid restrictions, we look at the rules of golf courses in England, Wales and Scotland's Tier 4 areas.
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Are golf courses open in Tier 4 lockdown?
Both courses and driving ranges will be allowed to remain open in Tier 4 areas in England.
It comes after the government confirmed that “outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges, riding centres and playgrounds” will not be closed.
Individuals will be allowed to meet one other person in a public space outdoors in Tier 4 areas.
This means two-balls will be allowed at golf courses and driving ranger will remain open.
The government’s Tier 4 guidance states: “Indoor gyms and sports facilities will close.
"Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges, riding centres and playgrounds can remain open for individual exercise, and for people to use with others within your household, support bubble, or with one person from another household.
"Organised outdoor sport for under 18s and disabled people will be allowed.”
A statement from the the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf (APPGG) read: “The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf is happy to confirm that golf courses will be able to remain open when the new Tier 4 restrictions become effective in parts of England from 6am GMT on Sunday 20 December.
What are the coronavirus rules for playing golf?
In Tier 4 areas, golf courses can remain open for individuals playing with members of their own household or support bubble, or with one person from another household.
The APPGG Statement said: “As usual, social distancing is to be observed and all necessary steps are to be taken to ensure a Covid-19 secure environment.
“Under Tier 4 restrictions, non-essential retail – including Pro Shops and golf retailers – must close. Click and Collect will, however, be permitted."
The APPGG Statement also set out further rules durng Tier 4 restricrions.
It said: “Outdoor coaching will be allowed on an individual basis or for multiple members of the same household or support bubble. Indoor coaching will be not be permitted.
“There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes, and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing.
“Custom fitting can take place outside on a one-to-one basis but is not permitted indoors.
“Some golf ranges can be classified as indoor settings, but it would be for each facility to read and interpret the guidelines against their own venue – it is suggested that if confirmation is required they contact their local authority who will be best placed to advise."
Are golf courses open in Tier 4 Scotland?
While England's new approach to golfing during lockdown seems to represent a broader way of thinking, Scotland has taken it one step further.
Scotland's Tier 4 allows four-balls with no limit on the number of households at courses.
This is provided Covid-safe measures and compliance remains in place.
Are golf courses open in Tier 4 Wales?
.Golf courses and outdoor tennis courts were among the facilities ordered to shut in Wales on Sunday, December 20.
It comes as the entire nation was dramatically placed into alert level four amid rising Covid-19 cases.
It means Wales is currently the only country in the UK with a complete ban on golf.
It comes as Scotland and parts of England moved to their own Tier 4 restrictions.
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