‘Cooked’: Daniel Andrews slammed for keeping bans on golf, tennis in place despite easing of restrictions

Jasper BruceNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Locked-down golf professionals have slammed the Victorian government’s decision to keep its ban on the sport in place despite lifting other restrictions from this weekend.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Thursday that up to five fully vaccinated adults from two separate households would be allowed to meet for picnics after 11.59pm this Friday but “recreational activities that require the use of a facility” would remain prohibited.

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Golf is permitted in NSW, where case numbers are higher, but Andrews said the sport was not “not safe” in Victoria and his government needed to prioritise which restrictions were eased first.

“You can’t allow everything, you can’t agree to everything, we essentially have prioritised family time, so people being able to connect with another family, another household, outdoors,” he told reporters.

“I would love nothing more than to be able to go and hit a golf ball, but that’s not safe. It will be, though, at a point in the future.”

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Camera IconVictorians are now permitted to exercise for four hours a day – up from two – within a 10km radius from their home. NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw Credit: News Corp Australia

An official proposal submitted to the Victorian government by Golf Australia, which suggested implementing a “no jab, no play” policy in clubs, has not allayed Andrews’ concerns.

Frustrated golf professionals, whose income streams have dried up due to the ban, have vented their frustrations on social media.

Matt Griffin, a three-time winner of Australian PGA Tour events, pointed out an apparent flaw in the government’s ban.

“Just to clarify from tomorrow I can visit my local golf course or tennis club to have a picnic with 4 others or do personal training with a trainer and one other but I can’t play golf or tennis with one other?” he wrote on Twitter.

Former touring professional Mark Allen called the government’s refusal to lift its golf ban “cooked”, dubbing Andrews “the Dictator”.

Nick O’Hern, who has competed at the Masters Tournament and US Open among other tournaments, called the ban “ludicrous” and “cruel”.

Andrews said his government would consider easing more restrictions if vaccine numbers continued to rise.

“A couple of weeks ago, we said, ‘If we can get to 70 per cent first dose, we’ll look at doing 10km, 3 hours’, those sorts of things,” he explained.

“We did then say, if we can go further, we will. Outdoor rec would be an area we look at, outdoors being safer than indoors.

“On Sunday, I’ll have more to say about things like golf and tennis and fishing and all sorts of other things.”

Originally published as ‘Cooked’: Daniel Andrews slammed for keeping bans on golf, tennis in place despite easing of restrictions

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