Massachusetts Removes Golf Facility Guidelines and Relaxes Face Covering Guidance
(Updated on the Mass.gov website 4/27/21; Effective on 4/30/21)
On Friday, April 30th, Massachusetts will permanently eliminate golf specific guidance and the Face Coverings Order will be relaxed for some outdoor settings, inclusive of golf activity.
To view the full press release on the Mass.gov website, CLICK HERE
There will no longer be specific “golf facility guidelines” that need to be followed. All courses, clubs, and golf facilities can implement any additional safety measures as they see fit.
Phase 1 Guidance to be removed on April 30th:
(Updated on the Mass.gov website 2/25/21; Effective on 3/1/21)
The Governor’s Administration Announced announced that Massachusetts would advance to Step 2 of Phase III of the state’s reopening plan on Monday, March 1, and also announced its plan to transition to Step 1 of Phase IV on Monday, March 22. To view the press release on the Mass.gov website, CLICK HERE
Phase Three, Step 2
Beginning March 1, all communities will move back to Phase III, Step 2 of Massachusetts’ re-opening plan, including the following restrictions:
Increased Capacity at Golf Facilities in all communities, capacity will be raised from 40% to 50% for golf facilities. NOTE: This capacity adjustment is for the indoor areas of a golf facility and not for the outdoor areas of a golf facility.
Phase Four, Step 1
Beginning March 22, provided public health metrics continue to improve, all communities in Massachusetts will move into Step 1 of Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan, with the following restrictions:
(Updated on the Mass.gov website 12/22/20; Effective on 12/26/20)
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020, Massachusetts will implement temporary capacity limits to stop the spread of COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations rise. Businesses must adhere to the following capacity limitations. The revised limits below supersede existing limits in the Phase 3, Step 1 Sector-Specific Protocols. Except for the specified adjustments to capacity limitations, all other terms of COVID-19 gatherings order (including exceptions) and all sector-specific workplace safety rules remain unchanged. These limits are in effect until January 10, 2021 unless further extended by the Governor.
Similar to almost all other business sectors, golf facilities will be limited to 25% capacity applying only to indoor spaces. Restaurants will also be limited to 25% capacity, but workers/staff are excluded from occupancy count. It is also noted that this "applies separately to indoor and outdoor capacity."
(Updated on the Mass.gov website 12/8/20; Effective on 12/13/20)
The Governor's Administration Announced New Restrictions Statewide for Capacity, Mask Compliance and Distancing Due to Increased Cases, Hospitalizations. The full press release is available on the Mass.gov website and via the link below.
"These new measures are designed to prevent infection and viral spread, especially in indoor settings. They will create stronger mask compliance, more social distancing, and limits to the time spent with people outside of your immediate household."
(Updated on the Mass.gov website 11/5/20; Effective on 11/6/20)
The Governor’s Administration updated the state’s golf facility guidelines on the Mass.gov website at 8:00 PM ET on Thursday, November 5. It has been confirmed that face-coverings are required by anyone at the facility, even while playing.
Face Coverings Required While Practicing and Playing
“Require face coverings for all customers and workers, except where an individual is unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability.”
FULL DETAILS ON UPDATED FACE-COVERING MANDATE (MASS.GOV)
FULL DETAILS OF STAY-AT-HOME ADVISORY (MASS.GOV)
Early Closure Guidance
“In accordance with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, Requiring Early Closing for Certain Businesses and Activities Golf Facilities must close to the public by 9:30 pm and may not re-open to the public before 5:00 am the following day (“mandatory closing period”). During this daily mandatory closing period, Golf Facilities must not admit any customers, patrons, or members of the public. Golf Facilities may permit employees to stay on premises during the mandatory closing period.”
Updated May 7, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Golf courses are not essential businesses and cannot have employees working on-premise. Notwithstanding this restriction, essential services, such as groundskeeping to avoid hazardous conditions and security, provided by employees, contractors, or vendors are permitted. Private operator of courses may permit individuals access to the property so long as there are no gatherings of any kind, appropriate social distancing of six feet between individuals is strictly followed, and the business operator and golfers abide by the specific guidelines for golf courses.
Municipalities may decide to open municipal courses under these guidelines, if they so choose.
STATEMENT FROM THE ALLIANCE OF MASSACHUSETTS GOLF ORGANIZATIONS
“The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) would like to thank the Re-Opening Advisory Board for their hard work and diligence during this process to resume play in Massachusetts. AMGO is continuing to work with the Governor’s Administration to identify and develop additional solutions to emerging issues in the golf industry and to keep them informed on the needs of our community. We understand that many golfers require cart usage for medical reasons or disabilities, which was originally part of our request to the Re-Opening Advisory Board on May 2. We have and will continue to request such adjustments to the guidelines as appropriate to keep everyone safe and to ensure the whole community is able to enjoy the necessary physical and mental exercise that we all need during this time.”
The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations, is working to gain further clarification on aspects of the Executive Order that are ambiguous. At minimum, a request has been sent to the Governor’s office for an exemption around the maintenance of golf courses in the Commonwealth. We hope that they will view this request as an essential service as many other states have already done. Please take the time to read the letter in the link below and share it with those that may be able to carry the message along.
Updated March 20, 2020 at 9:30 AM
The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations sent a request to the Governor’s office for an exemption around the non-essential services list and for golf courses in the commonwealth to remain open for play in following the CDC and WHO published guidelines. Please take the time to read the letter in the link below and share it with those that may be able to carry the message along.
The COVID-19 Golf Guidelines for Facilities in Massachusetts have been permanently eliminated. Golf Facilities should now follow the Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces for protocols for Sectors Not Otherwise Addressed.