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Written Question
Golf: Coronavirus
26 Nov 2020

Questioner: Joy Morrissey (CON - Beaconsfield)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the scientific basis is for closing golf courses during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown in England; and when he plans to reopen those courses.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of the first period of enhanced national restrictions and why we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

Nobody wanted to be in the position of having to introduce further National Restrictions. However as the Prime Minister said, with the virus spreading faster than expected we cannot allow our health system to be overwhelmed. The National Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions. We have not introduced further exemptions because when you unpick at one activity the effectiveness of the whole package is compromised.

However, as the Prime Minister said on 23 November national restrictions will end on Wednesday 2 December and gyms and the wider leisure sector including golf courses can reopen across all tiers.


Written Question
Tourism
16 Sep 2020

Questioner: Joy Morrissey (CON - Beaconsfield)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support the tourism sector as it moves from the summer season into autumn.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston

We recognise the significant impact of Covid-19 on the tourism sector. We continue to monitor the situation and are taking steps to support the sector as it moves to the autumn season.

The Government has implemented a series of measures that will assist tourism business over the coming months, such as the cut to VAT which will last into January and business rates relief for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses which will last until the end of March.

We are working with VisitBritain on an Autumn and Winter campaign, 'Escape the Everyday', which will help extend the tourism season.

The Government is also encouraging local planning authorities to exercise their discretion in relation to planning conditions for caravan, campsites and holiday parks, in order to help these businesses extend their open season.

And through the Cultural Renewal Taskforce and the Visitor Economy Working Group, we are continuing to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support tourism’s recovery across the UK.