Greetings from The Emerald Isle.
Glorious weather for the last 6 weeks to coincide with our lock-down, but alas no golf currently. Some bat or fish in Wuhan has a lot to answer for! The Coronavirus has taken its toll on Ireland just like everywhere else, but we are seeing green shoots, maybe 50 shades of shoots even, we think.
Phased Covid Re-Opening Plan:
The Government released a plan just this weekend to map out a phased re-opening of the country. Below is the potted summary, with highlights for golf, sport and as importantly when will the pubs re-open! As one wag put it recently, “if the pubs don’t open soon, we’ll all turn into alcoholics!”.
- Current Situation: Monday May 5th: lock-down still broadly in place with all golf courses closed. 2KM (1.5 mile) travel restriction in place.
- Phase I: Monday May 18th: Golf courses may re-open (clap clap!) but limited to members only initially. Travel zone now 5KM (approx. 3 miles).
- Phase II:Monday June 8th: 20km / 12 miles travel restriction.
- Phase III: Monday June 29th: Street level retail may open. Cafes and restaurants can open ~ all with physical distancing.
- Phase IV: Monday July 20th: Travel beyond home areas. Team sports generally reopening. Hotels on a limited occupancy can re-open.
- Phase V: Monday August 10th: Pubs, restaurants, nightclubs etc re-open. A general return to normal with enhanced physical distancing, hygiene etc.
Some More Details:
This is a ‘one-country’ approach so no differences by region. While of course, this all looks very neat and tidy, the Government has been very clear that moving from one Phase to the next is dependent on the virus continuing to be contained and meeting certain benchmarks. There is not a lot of comment in the summary plan re Airports except the generic statement for all phases that there will be “specific measures at ports and airports”. It is possible we could move faster or slower through the Phases depending on progress in controlling the virus.
What to do if you have booked a 2020 Ireland Golf tour? Firstly assess above and make a judgement call based on the plan outlined above. The approach of all the major golf courses regarding 2020 bookings is broadly as follows: you may defer your tee times anytime out through the end of 2021. However, only a minority of the top courses are offering refunds of deposits already made for tee times in 2020. So deferrals through 2021 allowed but limited refunds.