Golfers around Victoria have been left fuming after new Covid-19 restrictions in the state banned the use of all indoor facilities at golf clubs, including toilets.
The Victorian government lifted a ban on recreational golf and tennis this week, a move welcomed by tens of thousands in the state.
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However restrictive guidelines put in place have banned access to all indoor areas of clubs, including toilets.
“Please note, toilets must remain closed at your facility," Golf Australia wrote in an email to members.
“This is different from previous advice received on this topic, and GA will make urgent representations to government on this point as we understand full well that this is a significant impost.”
Reacting to the toilet ban on 3AW radio, Royal Melbourne Golf Club captain Andrew Kirby said it was a “joke” and a “breach of human rights”.
“I know the blokes can do a number one in the trees, but there are lots of women playing,” he said.
“We’ve been through this opening and closing and opening again so many times that you’d think they’d get it a little more down pat.
"To be honest, I think the problem I see is too much micro-regulation of it.
“Golf courses have really gone out of their way to embrace Covid-safe, scores are done on an app, you don’t touch anything, we’re vaccinated, so we’re trying to work with it and make it safer.
“Maybe there’s been a miscommunication or something has been misconstrued but we have staff there, we have lots of women playing, we have people with medical conditions – they need to use the toilets.
“It’s just a bit disappointing after the excitement of opening yesterday.”
Radio host Mark Allen tweeted: “Seriously – the toilet ban that @VicGovAu wants at golf courses in Melbourne is the stupidest thing I‘ve ever heard.
"I’m assuming that all the toilets in parks across our city will be closed as well?”
David Diaz, the pro at Albert Park Golf Course, labelled the toilet ban “quite ridiculous”.
“I know some courses, they have to lock their toilets. It’s just odd,” he told The Age.
“But anyway, we’re happy to get out there and play.”
Caleb Bond of The Herald Sun tweeted: “If the shambolic reopening of golf and tennis clubs in Victoria is any indication of how the rest of the state will open up, then God help us all.”
Seriously - the toilet ban that @VicGovAu wants at golf courses in Melbourne is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. (Actually it's not - they've stated plenty just as dumb...)
So... I'm assuming that all the toilets in parks across our city will be closed as well..??#CrazyTown https://t.co/8fltrR9R9Z
— Mark Allen (@MarkAllenGolf) September 29, 2021
Good evening @VictorianCHO, could you please confirm that this is *not correct*.
Or are you really requiring golf courses to close all toilets?
Important issue, given the number of bowel and bladder conditions in the community. https://t.co/UZTVstDE5u
— Michael O'Brien (@michaelobrienmp) September 29, 2021
If the shambolic reopening of golf and tennis clubs in Victoria is any indication of how the rest of the state will open up, then God help us all. Clubs couldn't interpret the web of rules and toilets have to remain shut. My column in @theheraldsun.https://t.co/8MWKXlvJl5
— Caleb Bond (@TheCalebBond) September 30, 2021
— Dr Hannah Brown (@DrScienceLover) September 29, 2021
@VictorianCHO Practical joke right? Unless all public toilets, all playground toilets, all service station toilets, in fact, all toilets outside the home are closing too, because, as we have been told, this virus does not discriminate… or maybe it targets golf courses ? pic.twitter.com/kuw9qKq66g
— Andrew Thoseby (@1stExecutive) September 29, 2021
Daniel Andrews addresses uproar over toilet ban
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews addressed the outcry on Thursday.
“That (public health) team works as hard as they possibly can,” he told reporters.
“These directions are a good deal more complex than they might seem sometimes, but the good news is, there’s a query been raised, it’s being followed up, and, hopefully, there can be a positive response to that quite soon.”
In previously banning golf and tennis in Victoria, Andrews said: “Recreational activities that require the use of a facility” would be prohibited.
“You can’t allow everything, you can’t agree to everything, we essentially have prioritised family time, so people being able to connect with another family, another household, outdoors,” he said.
“I would love nothing more than to be able to go and hit a golf ball, but that’s not safe. It will be, though, at a point in the future.”
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