COVID-19: Do greenkeepers need to wear face masks at work?

20 July 2020 COVID-19
New rules regarding face coverings come into force on Friday 24 July


From Friday 24 July, it will be mandatory to wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets in England.

Unless there is a legitimate reason not to, you must wear a face mask to try on clothes or do your weekly shop. 

So, what does that mean for greenkeepers at work around the golf club and course?

You will need to wear a face covering if you go into the pro shop for any reason. If you don’t and you’re reported to or spotted by the police, you could receive a fine of £100.

You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with other people, such as the clubhouse, driving range or other enclosed areas.

But if you’re eating or drinking in the clubhouse then “it isn’t practical” to wear a face covering and won’t need to do so.

Similarly, in Scotland face coverings must be worn by anyone who is using a shop, including at a golf club. However, the Scottish government’s guidance adds “this does not include hospitality premises such as cafes, coffee shops, restaurants or pubs” and so you are not required to wear one if eating in the club’s bar area.

It’s clearly very important to understand the distinction between the shop and other areas of the golf club and the club should have practices in place to make visitors aware of this.

In Wales and Northern Ireland face coverings are not mandatory but are strongly recommended.

In terms of the working day away from the clubhouse setting and when on the course or in the maintenance facility, there is presently no universal face coverings guidance for workplaces. Although employers must make sure that the risk assessment for their businesses addresses the risk of COVID-19, you do not have to wear a face covering at work by law.

Although there is no evidence that wearing face coverings outdoors will protect the spread of the virus, you may feel more comfortable wearing one in the maintenance facility and employers should support you if you decide to do so.

Much more important in the prevention of disease spread is the reduction of the risk of transmission through controls that include social distancing, high standards of hand hygiene, increased surface cleaning, fixed teams or partnering and other measures such as using screens or barriers to separate people from each other. 

Head to the website for more information about working safely during coronavirus for those providing grassroots sport facilities.


Karl Hansell
BIGGA | Communications Executive


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