Ford to keep golf courses closed amid calls to return to outdoor activities


TORONTO – Golf courses across the province will remain closed until at least June as part of an announcement by Premier Doug Ford on the extension of current Ontario stay-at-home orders.

Stay-at-home orders, which have now been extended to June 2, ban all outdoor recreational activities, such as golf courses, baseball diamonds and football fields.

Speaking to the media, Ford said mobility was a reason for shutting down outdoor activities.

“I’ve talked to my friends, I know what’s going on. You know, they take another buddy, two or three, they go golfing and there’s nothing wrong with golfing, the problem is mobility, ”said Ford.

“Then after golf, they go back there, they have a few pops. This is the problem. This is the problem.

The shutdown of outdoor recreation has ruffled the feathers of some experts who say the risk of transmission outdoors is low.

“Golf is undeniably safe and that is a credit to all golf clubs and course operators who have strict protocols in place to create a safe recreational experience,” said Mike Kelly, Executive Director of Golf Ontario, at CTV News Toronto.

“To be clear, mobility is not an issue with golf and many other safe outdoor activities. [..] The data for 2020 clearly indicates that golf is played in the communities of origin of golfers, ”continued Kelly.

Kelly said Golf Ontario fully complies with the advice of medical experts, stating that “outdoor activities are not only good for you, they are also safe”.

Infectious disease specialist and member of the provincial working group on vaccine distribution, Dr. Isaac Bogoch, agrees that outdoor activities are much less risky than activities indoors.

“From a medical, scientific and public health perspective, we know that outdoor environments are much safer than indoor environments when we look at transmission,” he told CTV News Toronto.

However, it will be a few more weeks before golfers can hit the green again.

“We just can’t take the risk. Hang in there, we’re asking a lot, just a few more weeks, ”said Ford.

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