As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, New Zealand Golf has suggested golf clubs can continue to operate as normal but err on the side of caution when running events.
In a statement, New Zealand’s golf advisory body has said they are closely monitoring the outbreak and receiving guidance from the Ministry of Health, Sport NZ, HPSNZ and the Auckland City Council.
“We understand that the global COVID-19 situation is raising unprecedented concerns for golf clubs specifically related to the viability of remaining open and/or running events and functions,” NZ Golf statement said.
“Our management team is awaiting further government advice on events and gatherings that is expected in the coming days before updating advisory information for golf clubs.
“The current operating environment is unlike anything experienced before in New Zealand and it is a fast-moving and constantly changing situation.
“This fluidity is possibly the most significant challenge in formalising advisory information.
“For golf clubs, operating normally is entirely possible in the current situation however careful thought needs to be given to the running of events, functions or playing opportunities where groups of people are in attendance.”
NZ Golf reminds everyone that golf is primarily played outdoor in open space and therefore is probably one of the best activities to take part in when wanting to keep a social distance.
“As golf is largely an outdoor activity and there is plenty of space to roam, the daily playing of our sport should not be affected,” the statement continued.
“New Zealand Golf does suggest that golf clubs err on the side of caution and carefully consider whether running events or gatherings of any size is essential at this time. On 16 March 2020, the Government advised public events or mass gatherings where 500 or more people are together in one place, at one time should be cancelled.”
Golf Clubs are being asked to follow the current advice from the Ministry of Health for public events and mass gatherings under 500 people:
If you are an event organiser, you should focus on:
1. Advising any staff, volunteers and guests not to attend if they are feeling unwell
2. Advising any staff, volunteers and guests not to attend if they have been to any country except those listed in Category 2 (excluding airport transit) in the past 14 days
3. Briefing the event staff on how to practice good hygiene and making it easy for staff and attendees to practice good hygiene.
Details around the conducting of NZ Golf events such as the Autex Muriwai Open and Barfoot and Thompson Akarana Open are still unclear with NZ Golf awaiting movement by the Government.