What are the new Covid rules in the UK and Ireland?

With restrictions in many parts of the UK and Ireland being eased, here's a run down of some of the major changes and how they might affect you at your club... England Face coverings and Covid passes were no longer required in England from January 27 as the relaxation of Plan B rules came into effect. The Government said mask wearing was a matter of “personal judgement”, although clubs and pro shops could continue to ask members and visitors to wear them. Public heath guidance remained for people to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces and when coming into contact with strangers. Work from home guidance was dropped. Scotland Temporary restrictions, which were introduced by the Scottish Government on December 26, were lifted on January 24. Scottish Golf said this meant that table service was not needed where alcohol was served. They added that the one metre physical distancing requirement between groups in indoor public places was also no longer required. On baseline measures, Scottish Golf’s website said: “The baseline mitigation measures that were in place before Omicron are being retained and will not be extended, at this stage, to other premises. “However, this will be reconsidered if the situation changes. These measures include the use of face coverings in indoor public places and businesses collecting customer data for Test and Protect purposes.” People were still being asked to reduce social contact, and keep gatherings “as small as circumstances allow” until at least the end of the month, while work from home guidance remained in place. You can download the latest Return to Golf updates from Scottish Golf’s website. Wales From January 28, restrictions on meeting people in hospitality were removed and there was no requirement either for table service or two metre physical distancing. The Rule of Six no longer applied to gatherings in regulated premises such as hospitality. However, face coverings were still required in most indoor public places. Businesses, employers, and other organisations were told to continue making specific coronavirus risk assessments and taking reasonable measures to minimise the spread of the virus. That could include social distancing or controlled entry. For the latest, click here. Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland Golf Ireland issued new advice on January 22 for all golf club activities in “accordance with the Northern Ireland Executive’s Reopening Pathway” and following the Republic of Ireland government’s announcement, the day before, to “remove the majority of public health measures currently in place.” Those documents covered general advice for golf clubs and players including, for example, that face coverings must still be worn in indoor retail and hospitality settings, including pro shops, golf club bar and restaurants in Northern Ireland. To view both sets of guidance, click here. Do you subscribe to the GCMA’s weekly E-newsletter? Make sure you’re not missing out on the latest in the world of golf club management. Click here to join in.  
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