With the Omicron variant seeing new restrictions being brought in across the UK, here’s the current advice and requirements from Governments and governing bodies in the Home Unions…
Prime minister Boris Johnson has said there will be no new Covid restrictions before Christmas. But he has not ruled out any further measures following the festive period in the face of the spread of Omicron.
On December 10, England Golf said golf clubs must “consider the layout of their facilities, especially their clubhouses” when applying rules on Covid-19 restrictions.
They issued advice to clubs after an increase to the mandatory use of face coverings and working from home.
Considering the effect the changes will have on golf club operations, on face coverings, England Golf said the guidance stated: “In England, face coverings are now required by law in most indoor public places.
“Face coverings are not required in hospitality venues where food and drink are consumed.
“Where a premises or part of a premises is being used for an event where the main activities include eating, drinking and dancing, face coverings are not required. Face coverings must be worn in communal areas of the premises not being used for the event.
“In indoor settings where a face covering is not legally required, you should still continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.”
England Golf added: “Golf clubs must consider the layout of their facility, especially their clubhouse, when applying the rules.”
On working from home, which came into effect on December 13, England Golf said government guidance revealed: “Office workers who can work from home should do so. Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go into work – for example, to access equipment necessary for their role or where their role must be completed in person.
“In-person working will be necessary in some cases to continue the effective and accessible delivery of some public services and private industries. If you need to continue to go into work, consider taking lateral flow tests regularly to manage your own risk and the risk to others.
“Employers should consider whether home working is appropriate for workers facing mental or physical health difficulties, or those with a particularly challenging home working environment.”
England Golf said it was for each individual golf club to determine, in line with the government guidance, the advice for employed staff to work from home where possible.
Visit England Golf website for more.
The First Minister, Mark Drakeford, set out new measures on December 22 that will come into effect on Boxing Day. They will bring back Alert Level 2 restrictions in some instances.
Two metre social distancing will once again be required in all public places and licensed premises, which will include golf clubs, will have to offer table service only, with face masks to be worn at all times in hospitality settings except when seated. Contact tracing details must also be collected once again.
A maximum of six people can meet in public places and large events “will not be allowed indoors or outdoors. The maximum number of people who can gather at an indoor event will be 30 and 50 outdoors”.
Measures announced in the previous week for workplaces and retail will also come into force from December 26
For more on the restrictions, click here.
New guidance documents have been updated by the PGA following First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s update to the Scottish Parliament on December 21. They can be read and downloaded by visiting Scottish Golf’s website.
The governing body say ‘enhanced measures’ have been put in place for up to three weeks from December 26 for ‘indoor contact sports for adults’ and ‘large scale events’ and from December 27 for areas including hospitality.
- All indoor hospitality venues should reintroduce physical distancing (1m) between groups (maximum 3 households per group) as well as table service in settings where alcohol is served.
- Large spectator and participation events can take place if 1m physical distancing measures are put in places and attendances limited to: indoors, 100 standing and 200 seated; outdoors, 500 standing and 500 seated.
- For that three-week period, the Scottish Government has also advised that people “stay at home as much as possible, keep contacts to a minimum; and keep New Year gatherings as small as your family circumstances allow”.
Golf Ireland’s Golf and Living with Covid-19 has been in place since July 23 and, in the Republic, Sport Ireland’s Return to Sport Guidance, issued on October 19, also remains in force and you can read it here.
The use of face coverings is required in all indoor settings accessible to the public across Northern Ireland.
This includes shops, shopping centres, public, private and school transport services, taxis, airplanes, public transport stations and airports, banks, churches, cinemas, and some government offices, and golf clubs.
In the Republic, hospitality and cultural venues – including pubs and restaurants – must now close by 8pm in measures that will remain in place until January 30 at the earliest.
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.