COVID-19 News: Golfers pressure province to reopen courses

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THORNBURY, ONT. – Golfers across Ontario have been left without a tee time for weeks as courses remain closed during the province-wide stay-at-home order.

“Physical activity that you can’t do in the winter – so that it gets suppressed, that’s for sure,” Nicholas Theodoropolous said.

Théordopolous is not alone.

A petition created last month urging the Ford government to review the latest lockdown restrictions has garnered more than 35,000 signatures.

Mark Kalbleisch was one of the creators of the petition and said the signature list would be sent to Premier Doug Ford.

“Every little thing and every little action and the longer it takes, the more embarrassment it is for the Ontario government,” Kalbleisch said.

According to Richard Edmonds, president of the Tangle Creek Golf and Country Club and a member of the Central Ontario chapter of the National Golf Course Owners Association, there were 20 million rounds of golf played in the province in 2020 and no such event. known to COVID-19.

Other than that, Edmonds said the economic impact of the shutdown has been devastating. “It’s disheartening, to say the least, there are 800 properties in Ontario, and we employ hundreds of thousands of people. It’s a livelihood for people who love golf.” , said Edmonds.

To deal with the surge in COVID-19 cases, the province announced last month that it would impose restrictions on outdoor activities, such as weddings, funerals, church services, tennis and golf .

Infectious disease expert Dr Gerald Evans said one of the reasons golf was included in the restriction list was not because of the sport itself, but the socialization that made it happen. accompanied.

“A lot of activities that are safe and outdoors are associated with activities indoors, and this is where the risk of transmission occurs,” Dr. Evans said.

Meanwhile, pressure from golfers and course owners to reopen the links is increasing. While there is no set timetable for the courses to reopen, golfers hope their efforts will prompt the government to reassess the game’s place in the current lockdown.


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