Disappointment for anglers and golfers
Golf bosses and angling chiefs have reacted with disappointment to the news that they must pause their sports following the Government’s announcement of a third national lockdown.
Golf clubs, golf facilities – both indoor and outdoor – and driving ranges will be required to close during the full lockdown while coaching will also not be permitted.
England Golf – as part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf along with other leading industry bodies – revealed they had made a strong case in recent months to keep golf open during the national lockdowns and in the regional tier system and were ‘extremely disappointed’ by news of the closures.
They said: “It is with great regret that we share this news, but please be assured that we will continue to make the case for golf to reopen whenever possible.”
Fishing will also not be permitted during the lockdown with clubs and fisheries having to shut their waters to anglers.
Jamie Cook, chief executive officer of the Angling Trust, commented: “Whilst this is disappointing news I would ask anglers, fisheries and clubs to respect these rules and the reason they have been put in place - to help save lives and support the NHS.
“Over the past few weeks we have been in communication with the Government at the highest possible level.
“We have presented a strong case on how fishing could continue safely during the third national lockdown.
“We have explained that fishing benefits physical health and mental wellbeing and that it is regularly the only form of activity individuals undertake.
“My team and I have consistently presented the arguments ahead of the changing government guidelines, which have allowed fishing to remain permitted continuously since the first national lockdown was lifted in May. We have been successful when other sports have not as all anglers will know.
“However, with 60,000 new infections announced this week, the Government has taken the decision that leaving home for recreation or leisure, including all forms of recreational fishing, should be prohibited in England during this third national lockdown period.
“I thank you for your support and for being a credit to our sport. You can rest assured that the Angling Trust will continue to represent our sport at the highest level and will present proposals for the resumption of angling when it is safe and sensible to do so.
“We will come through this period of national crisis and we will fish again but until then, please, stay safe.”