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Coronavirus in sport: Angling, bowls and golf could be lifted from the restrictions as ministers look at sports' lockdown strategies




The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, has confirmed that non-contact sports – including golf – are under consideration for coronavirus restrictions to be eased, writes Chris Boughton.

He confirmed at the digital, culture, media and sport select committee meeting last week that he would consider lifting restrictions on sports such as golf, fishing and bowls if there was evidence that such clubs could open safely.

In response to a question from Tory MP Giles Watling, he said he would press the case for them to the Prime Minister and the Cobra emergencies committee, which is currently looking at sports’ lockdown strategies.

Sports have been on lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, but there could soon be a return for non-contact sports such as angling, bowls and golf
Sports have been on lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, but there could soon be a return for non-contact sports such as angling, bowls and golf

He added: “It would have to be in line with scientific advice.”

Before the lockdown, all of the area’s local golf clubs had implemented governing body England Golf’s guidelines on coronavirus in full, plus introducing additional precautions of their own.

A further key issue would almost certainly be managing congregating on the first tee.

Bury St Edmunds Golf Club's clubhousepicture: Chris Boughton (32848081)
Bury St Edmunds Golf Club's clubhousepicture: Chris Boughton (32848081)

England Golf’s CEO Jeremy Tomlinson has announced a new Play Safe Stay Safe campaign that will be provided to clubs, a positive sign that the organisation is already planning for golf to recommence soon.

But Stoke-by-Nayland-trained Great Cornard star Lily May Humphreys has a wait to get back to competitive play with England Golf having extended its postponement of all championships up until August.

Clubhouse view across the Suffolk. Picture: Chris Boughton (33555956)
Clubhouse view across the Suffolk. Picture: Chris Boughton (33555956)

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