Following the UK Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday 23rd March 2020, additional measures to control the spread of Coronavirus have been implemented, including restrictions on:
· Travelling to and from work, unless essential work absolutely cannot be done from home
· Gatherings of more than two people, except for families or where the gathering is essential for work purposes
Where businesses need to remain open to undertake “essential work”, it is imperative that they comply with the latest Government advice on Coronavirus at all times to prevent further spread of Coronavirus.
Measures must also be taken to ensure the governments instructions on social distancing are strictly adhered to.
It is important that businesses continue to manage the health and safety of workers, and others who may be affected, to remain legally compliant and to avoid placing further strain on an already stretched health service.
Relevant information contained within this guidance should be communicated to the workforce as frequently as is necessary, to ensure it is clearly understood, in order for employees to protect themselves, their colleagues, their families and the entirety of the UK population.
All individuals, from directors and managers to employees must take responsibility for helping to manage the spread of Coronavirus.
Symptoms of COVID19 (Coronavirus)
- A High Temperature - being hot to the touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- A new, continuous cough - coughing for a lot more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
- Anosmia - loss of, or a change in, the sense of taste and smell.
Anyone who meets one of the criteria below should not come to work and follow the Government guidance on self-isolation:
- Has a high temperature, a new persistent cough, or a loss of -change in - the sense of smell or taste.
- Is a vulnerable person (i.e. over the age of 70, suffers from an underlying health condition, has heightened susceptibility due to clinical condition or is pregnant.
- Is living with someone in self-isolation or a vulnerable person.
What if an employee falls ill?
If any worker develops a high temperature or persistent cough whilst at work, they must:
- Return home immediately
- Avoid touching anything
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in the bin or, if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow.
Once an employee has been sent home to follow self-isolation procedures, they must not return to work until the full period of self-isolation has been completed and they no longer have a temperature (or have a negative COVID-19 test).
Playing Golf Post COVID-19 Lockdown Guidance
All golf clubs are going to be required to implement “Safe Golf” procedures including golfers being required to comply with the rules on social distancing throughout. This means all golf clubs will need to carry out risk assessments and adapt its procedures to ensure compliance with the government’s restrictions. Golf clubs will need to consider the following:
- The course set up.
- Before the round of golf.
- During the round of golf.
- After the round of golf.
Course Set Up
The golf club will need to identify the risks that are presented on the course that may assist in the spread of infection. This would require for all on course equipment to be removed or covered up (that are not essential to the game). This would include:
- All rakes and ball-retrievers to be removed.
- Ball washers and drinking fountains to be covered up.
- Benches and bins to be removed, covered or sign-posted in such a way that players do not touch them.
- All other removable items to be removed, except that stakes defining areas of the course.
Hole and Flag Pins
- Flag pins can remain in but must have signage attached stressing they must not be touched.
- There should be a hole liner in place that prevents the ball falling below the surface of the putting green, meaning the ball can be easily retrieved by handling the ball only.
Practice areas including practice nets to remain closed to everyone except the persons who are to tee off next. Social distancing must implemented and maintained in these areas.
Before the Round of Golf
Golf clubs must look at their current set-up and adapt it to minimise contact between staff and golfers, this will assist with preventing the spread of COVID-19. Golf clubs should implement good processes and procedures to ensure the safety of their staff and golfers visiting the club.
- Maximum of 2 players for each tee off time.
- Clubs to organise a booking system and allocation of tee off time. Online option is recommended (less likely to double book, takes away human error).
- Minimum of 10-minute intervals between tee times, but longer intervals may be more appropriate depending on the club.
Golfers Arrival and Waiting to Play
- Clubs must communicate in advance to all golfers the new course rules in place that they must agree to abide by, including social distancing at all times.
- On arrival golfers to remain in their car until a certain time before their tee off time.
- The clubhouse and locker room facilities will remain closed.
- Limited essential access (for example to use the toilets) may be allowed by the club however, a system should be implemented to ensure social distancing.
- Hand cleaning facilities should be provided at all door entrances and exits – soap and water, wherever possible, or hand sanitiser when water is not available. All golfers must be advised to use these when entering and exiting. Signage should be placed stating this.
- Procedures must be implemented to ensure social distancing between golfers and staff at the reception in advance of golfers teeing off. Markings and signage should be in place.
- No trolleys, carts or other items to be available for hire unless safe sanitising practices can be guaranteed.
During the Round
Golf clubs must ensure that signage is placed throughout the facility including the golf course advising golfers to always abide by the social distancing requirements at all times. Signage should be included at:
- Tee Off Areas - Remind golfers to keep 2 metres apart at tee off area.
- Fairways & Roughs - Remind golfers to stay more than 2 metres apart when walking to the ball, searching for a ball and playing shots.
- Bunkers - With no rakes allowed on the course, remind golfers to make their very best efforts to smooth the sand using their club and/or their feet.
- Putting Greens - Remind golfers to keep 2 metres apart on the putting greens and not to touch the flagstick.
After the Round
Golfers must be reminded that social distancing is as important after a round as it is during the round, so when the round is over they must leave the course and the club immediately so that there are no gatherings around the clubhouse area.
It is likely that golf will only be allowed to be played socially rather than competitively when lockdown is lifted.
Clubs must not forget that they are still required to manage all other significant health and safety risks and protect their staff, contractors and visitors. You cannot neglect all other health and safety requirements just to control COVID-19.
The main requirements to managed risk of COVID19:
- Completion of a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to achieve COVID SECURE status
- Providing suitable information, instruction and training to staff
- Providing information and instruction to any non-staff who may be on your premises
- To ensure that staff members have the appropriate personal protective equipment and are shown how to wear and maintain it.
- Implement social distancing to reduce risk of transmission
- Provision of suitable hand washing facilities
- Introduction of enhanced cleaning regimes
- Completion of an individual risk assessment with those persons who are considered high risk or vulnerable.
- Reporting any COVID19 incidents directly to the HSE in accordance with RIDDOR guidance.
Questions to Consider
- Has COVID-19 Risk assessment been carried out for the course?
- Is there any members of staff or members of their household who are considered as vulnerable or at risk?
- Is there sufficient hand washing facilities available?
- Is there a spot cleaning checklist available that is relevant to the business?
- Are shared tools or equipment being cleaned before and after use?
- Are you aware of the RIDDOR process for reporting COVID19 related cases within the workplace?
- Is there posters in place to remind occupants of the premises to maintain
- Have staff received documented training on the risks and symptoms of COVID19?
- Is there a COVID19 policy in place?
- Have staff been provided with suitable protective equipment relating to reducing risks of transmission of COVID19?
The above guidance provides an introduction on the main requirements needed to adequately manage this health and safety topic. If you require further guidance, risk assessments or template documentation on this subject please consult your relevant full guidance health and safety website (BIGGA, England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf). If you do not hold the log in details for this website, for your club, please speak to your golf club management team to identify who the account administrator is and request the details.