This is how the stay-at-home order affects golf courses in Ontario
Whether golf courses will stay open despite the spate of new restrictions announced for Ontario on Wednesday afternoon is something that fans of the outdoor sport are wondering as people scramble to determine what, exactly, will change with the new stay-at-home order.
Just days after administering a 28-day emergency shutdown of all health regions in the province, Premier Doug Ford and his team revealed that additional measures were coming into effect in less than 24 hours, including the closure of "non-essential" retailers save for pickup and delivery within a certain timeframe.
This is in addition to the shuttering of patios and outdoor fitness programs on Saturday, and the mandate for all residents to limit travel and only leave home for absolutely necessary trips.
Somehow among these rigid new rules added on to what was to be a full shutdown are no constraints on golf, which started early this season.
Though the province did not mention golf in its press conference revealing the new restrictions today, nor in its official news release detailing the new directives, news outlets such as CP24 have directly confirmed with the government that courses will remain operational.
The guidelines do specify that "outdoor exercise" is considered an essential reason to leave the house under this iteration of lockdown, though many seem confused as to why they would stay open when nearly every other business — including those offering outdoor activities — must close.
For those asking: golf courses will still be open in Ontario (indoor facilities/clubhouses closed) #onpoli— Laura Stone (@l_stone) April 7, 2021
Golf courses themselves seem unsure of the official verdict on their fate as of Wednesday afternoon as the public awaits further details of the stay-at-home order and other public health measures.
According to reports, outdoor facilities will remain open, while clubhouses will have to close. Things like social distancing, ramped up sanitization, etc. will continue to be enforced. It is unclear on what the masking policies will be.
As per usual, people seem generally confused about the province's process for deciding what to close and keep open during yet another stint of stringent lockdown, though this time around seems a bit more stringent than the last with the new rules preventing big box stores from selling non-essential goods.
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