COVID-19: Can We Play Golf When NZ Moves to Level 3 Lockdown?

PM Jacinda Ardern Level 3 Criteria Announcement
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Level 3 Criteria Announcement

Latest: Newstalk ZB radio are reporting that NZ Golf will be meeting with New Zealand Government on Monday to discuss whether Golf Clubs can be open for play at COVID-19 Lockdown Level 3.

NZ Golf Chief Executive Dean Murphy has responded to NZ Golf Magazine and said, “We are waiting to receive advice on whether golf can be played at Alert Level 3. As soon as we receive any specific guidance we will be in touch will all in the sector.”

Rules remain unclear if Kiwis can start playing golf again if New Zealand moves down to COVID-19 Level 3 lockdown next week following the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement today.

The new level 3 criteria are basically the same as level 4 but with businesses allowed to open as long as they can do so safely and be contact-free.

But for people wanting to head to their local golf course for a hit, the answer is still a little unclear. Or is it?

“We know that exercise and recreation is an important part of staying mentally and physically healthy,” Ardern explained.

“However, we have to be very careful about the way we do this to avoid spreading the disease.

“The most important principals here are to stay close to home, stay two metres away from people not in your bubble, and don’t do activity that could get you hurt and require medical care or rescuing (putting essential workers at risk).

“You can do activities that are local, which you can do safely, and which do not involve interacting with other people, or equipment touched by other people.

“You should go to your nearest beach or park, not your favourite one.”

But late today the Minister for Police and Small Business, Stuart Nash and added some confusion by saying YES you can go and play golf but if you play with anyone else they must be from within your bubble.

Activities such as fishing and surfing that had been banned in Level 4 are now allowed.

Golf Clubs ceased operating when the country moved into the Level 4 lockdown on March 26 but the two-day period where the country was previously in level 3, some golf clubs continued to stay open.

Essential maintenance of golf courses will still be allowed following the change in rules last weekend and it is expected some extra golf club workers will go back to work, following distance principles and still work from home if they can.

A decision on whether New Zealand moves out of Level 4 to Level 3 will be announced on Monday, April 20.

More to come, hopefully more answers

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