Golf clubs must close under Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions

Understanding is that all sport except elite level will cease from midnight on Wednesday

A view of preparations being made to Clontarf Golf Club ahead of their reopening in May. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

A view of preparations being made to Clontarf Golf Club ahead of their reopening in May. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

The GUI and ILGU have confirmed that all golf clubs in the Republic of Ireland are to close for the duration of the Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions which are scheduled to be in place for six weeks.

The understanding among official circles is that the new restrictions – which come into effect from midnight on Wednesday – will close all sport down apart from the stated elite and professional sports. Rugby, soccer and horse racing at professional level will continue while the GAA championships have also been given permission to go ahead at senior levels.

Tennis Ireland say they have put forward a proposal to Sport Ireland outlining how the sport can operate under Level 5 restrictions.

The GUI and ILGU had said on Tuesday that they were discussing the matter with Sport Ireland and on Wednesday afternoon a statement confirmed the news.

“Following intensive engagament over the past 48 hours, we have been informed this afternoon by Sport Ireland that, very regrettably golf clubs must close under the new level 5 restrictions,” the statement read.

“Essential course maintenance is permitted to continue under level 5. We have sought clarity on the issuse as to whether ranges/practice facilities can remain open for exempted activities. We will update clubs on this as soon as possible.”

Elite athletes in the bona fide, carded High Performance, Olympic and Paralympics programmes can also continue. With the Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled for next summer, athletes who have qualified or are facing a qualification process can continue to train under controlled conditions. Underage levels can also continue to train following Covid-19 health and safety guidelines.

While there was still no confirmation from other sports such as tennis, sailing or hockey, the intention is that outdoor sports will go into lockdown. Indoor sports had already been closed in Level 3.

The broad intention of Level 5 is to keep people at home, although, it was noted that the situation is currently a ‘moving target’ and that the numbers for weddings and funerals were changed following discussions.

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