An online petition to have golf courses re-opened has received nearly 30,000 signatures by Alberta golfers as of Tuesday afternoon.
The petition was started by Mark Graham of Calgary on April 9, asking for Alberta golf courses to receive an exemption from mandated business closures during the pandemic.
“Activities, where people are in close contact, is obviously dangerous,” reads the petition by Graham.
“Golf however already takes social distancing into account. People are separated by 10-15 mins. In fact, the flow of individuals is more regulated at a golf course then people self-regulating in a grocery store. ”
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In four short days, the petition has received over 26,000 signatures, and a number of comments of support from golfers across the province.
However, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw has reiterated in daily press conferences, that golf courses are a non-essential service, and therefore must remain closed for the time being.
“It is my view that golf courses are not essential services, and as such, are not open to the public,” said Hinshaw in a press conference update on April 10.
“With respect to re-opening, just as with any non-essential business, we’re watching our data very closely to determine when we reach a point where we potentially can start opening some of our non-essential businesses.”
The responses on the petition state that golfing is important for health and a great distraction, and that golfers are willing to practice physical distancing while playing.
Hinshaw doubled down in a press conference on Monday, reminding golfers that this sacrifice will not continue forever.
“I know there are many people who deeply enjoy golfing, for whom it is apart not just of physical health but of mental health, but it is one of many sacrifices we are asking Albertans to make,” Hinshaw said.
“We are looking very closely at our numbers, and as we get to a point where we can start thinking about easing our restrictions, outdoor recreation is certainly on that list of things to be considered.”