Golf is finally returning in Melbourne, and it will likely happen inside a week.
The Victorian Government announced today that the golf ban, which has been in place since the whole state went into a COVID-19-induced lockdown on August 5, would be lifted as soon as this weekend.
The trigger point is when Victoria hits an 80 percent eligible single-dose target for vaccinations against Covid-19. That number is currently just above 71 percent, but the indicative date for an 80 percent landmark is September 26.
That means golf courses may well be open from this Sunday. Regional courses have already reopened having been part of the original lockdown in July-August.
Golf Australia was in talks with the Victorian Government all through the past few weeks over the ban, which has been loudly criticised in the industry.
Premier Daniel Andrews, who released a new roadmap for a relaxing of restrictions in Victoria, said the changes would return “some of the outdoor activity that they have longed and craved and really missed over a long time over the last two years”.
Said Andrews: “It means that people will get back to the things they love, the things they’re passionate about. But it’s got to be done safely. There will be venue-to-venue and activity-to-activity rules and Covid safe plans. And I know people so desperate to get back to these things will take these rules seriously and make those activities as safe as possible.”
Andrews indicated that with a travel limit in place of 15 kilometres in metropolitan Melbourne from the time of the 80 percent vaccination goal, this restriction would apply to golfers looking to play at their clubs.
More details will be posted on https://www.golf.org.au/directives/ when they are provided by the health authorities over the next 24 hours.
[IMAGE: Gary Lisbon]