Here follows a Coronavirus Update from Bob Williams CEO:
Following on from the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday 23rd March, golf clubs, courses and associated facilities in the home nations must now close. This is an unprecedented time for all of us all and firstly I would like to reaffirm that the message from the GCMA is that our members’ health and that of their families come first.
Whilst this latest action is deeply regrettable, we are in unison with the Home unions and our industry colleagues that it is also a highly necessary and responsible course of action that must be implemented with immediate effect and maintained until further notice.
The government has identified an urgent need to introduce new restrictions on public life and on non-essential businesses opening their doors. Which in turn will be aimed at to limit the spread of the coronavirus and relieve the growing pressure on our National Health Service.
Keeping golf courses open in any shape or form is simply no longer compatible with the updated policy of government which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency.
However, in working with our associated industry colleagues we have received the following information from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS): “For security and essential maintenance reasons greens staff can still attend work.” Again, we are seeking further clarification in that whilst it permits greenkeepers to work on essential maintenance it does not clarify what that means. Working alongside our industry colleagues we will try to ascertain further clarification urgently.
These are incredibly testing times for the country. The golf industry cannot be shielded from the economic and social ramifications caused by this temporary shutdown of normal life. At the moment GCMA is continuing to work vigorously for our members as well as working closely with our golf industry partners to obtain further clarification from government to support all those people in the golf industry that are affected by the crisis.
Since this terrible virus arrived, we have been working with The PGA, BIGGA and The R&A as well as having regular virtual meetings with the Regional Managers in an attempt to providing guidance and assistance through these difficult times.
We have a dedicated Coronavirus Hub on the GCMA website (in the members area) with all the information we have to date. Here at HQ we will continue to provide as much information as possible and whilst we have now implemented a work from home policy for all staff we will continue to provide all membership services that are presently in place, including the Helpdesk, HR Helpline and the weekly Enewsletters every Friday. Further information will be added as and when it becomes available.