By Brian Keogh
Royal County Down
All Northern Ireland sports facilities, including golf courses, must close at 23.59 on Thursday 26 November under the NI Executive's new COVID-19 restrictions.
The changes, as they affect all Sports, which will apply from Thursday night are as follows:
Indoor and outdoor sport is not permitted, other than at elite level.
Elite sporting events must be held behind closed doors without spectators.
All sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios must close.
Individual/ household outdoor exercise and school PE can continue
Physical activities, such as walking, running, cycling, horse riding, or just walking the dog, bring many health benefits.
Full details of the new restrictions can be found at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-guidance-what-restrictions-mean-you
Regarding elite sports in Northern Ireland, the GUI and ILGU have clarified this matter with the relevant authorities and the same exemption for training only will apply as is currently the case in the Republic of Ireland.
This means that Team Ireland professionals and all other tour professionals, as well as members of national ILGU and GUI panels, are permitted to continue training should facilities be available for this purpose.