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Golf, tennis and basketball among the sports free to resume following new coronavirus lockdown guidelines




The government has confirmed a number of sports are free to resume with restrictions.

New coronavirus lockdown measures were announced on Sunday in a first step towards easing restrictions.

Tennis is among the sports who can reopen facilities from this Wednesday
Tennis is among the sports who can reopen facilities from this Wednesday

Sports secretary Oliver Dowden has confirmed that golf, basketball, tennis and fishing are among the sports that can resume across the country if played alone or with family members.

It means golf courses and tennis courts can reopen from Wednesday.

Mr Dowden said: “In recent weeks our daily exercise has been so important to our health & wellbeing

“Now in tentative steps forward and in the least risky outdoor environments, we can imminently allow some sports activity like golf, basketball, tennis, fishing - solo/in households.”

More guidance is set to be announced later.

The Lawn Tennis Association say they are working with the government to clarify matters ahead of Wednesday when tennis will be playable in England between members of the same household.

The LTA said: “We know how important it is to keep people active, and the particular role tennis can have in the physical and mental wellbeing of those that play it.

“Our aim is therefore for tennis activity to return as soon as is possible in a way that is both safe and appropriate based on Government advice.

People within the same household will be able to play basketball together from Wednesday
People within the same household will be able to play basketball together from Wednesday

“We remain in regular, direct dialogue with the government to ensure the guidance we are providing to those involved in tennis is the right advice at that time.

“Whilst we understand that tennis venues, coaches and players are keen to prepare for the resumption of tennis activity, we will share the guidance that we are discussing with government once they have published how the phased lifting of current restrictions will take place.

"This will provide a single, clear set of guidelines for everyone involved with tennis in Britain to ensure safe activity in line with the wider government advice.”

The Professional Golfers' Association, along with other golfing bodies, issued a statement on Sunday saying that play can be resumed.

The region's golf clubs are preparing to reopen under the new restricted guidance laid out by England GolfPicture: Chris Boughton
The region's golf clubs are preparing to reopen under the new restricted guidance laid out by England GolfPicture: Chris Boughton

It included the following: "All outdoor sport must be done alone or within a household group and that includes golf.

"We must ensure that the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved from golfers, to club staff and greenkeepers is maintained at all times.

"Golf clubs and golfers have observed the lockdown very well and must keep it up and act responsibly as play resumes."

The Angling Trust - the representative body for game, coarse and sea anglers in England and Wales - have also welcomed the resumption of their sport this Wednesday.

They said: "The decision to include outdoor activities such as angling in the first wave of newly permitted activities followed weeks of intense advocacy and lobbying by the Angling Trust which unified the angling community like never before and saw over 8,000 individual emails sent to MPs and dozens of articles in the regional and national press in support of a safe return for angling.

"The Prime Minister is making a full statement to the House of Commons tomorrow and the Angling Trust will be seeking clarification about the reopening of tackle shops and confirmation of any restrictions on how angling should be practised during the next phase."

Angling Trust chief exec Jamie Cook said: “I couldn’t be more pleased to see the hard work of the Angling Trust and our supporters delivering such an outstanding result for everyone who loves to go fishing.

"We have demonstrated to the satisfaction of government that angling can be permitted as a safe, healthy, beneficial outdoor activity and why it can take its rightful position at the front of the queue as restrictions are relaxed."

The government are expected to announce more details this week in parliament, on a range of issues.

Sport England say they will be working with the government "to help the public and the sector understand how these changes will take effect."

The key changes to restrictions at present are that people can go outside more than once a day for exercise, providing they are following social distancing guidelines, are alone or with members of their own household.

Outdoor sports that can operate safely within those restrictions will be free to resume this week.


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