World News – GB – Michael Gove stirs up confusion by claiming tennis and golf can ‘probably’ continue until second lockdown


Michael Gove has sparked much confusion over whether tennis and golf would be banned as part of the second nationwide coronavirus lockdown after he proclaimed there would be « likely » to be allowed and that the government « sought » to let people play other people

Sports’ hopes for an exemption seemed dashed when Boris Johnson refused to reverse his decision to stop them – although it was called ‘nonsense’ by Tory MPs

But Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister of the Cabinet Office, told the Surrey Residents Network: « You will probably be able to continue playing singles tennis

This was after the prime minister appeared to defy mounting pressures – including a petition that garnered a quarter of a million signatures – to reconsider current guidelines on closing gyms, golf courses and courts tennis from midnight Thursday

« Once you uncheck one thing, alas, the effectiveness of the whole package is compromised, » Johnson said in the House of Commons on Monday

Pressed to see if outdoor swimming could still be exempted, the Prime Minister replied: « We will review any exceptions we can reasonably make »

But he added: « It’s difficult to remove part of the Jenga block without disrupting the whole package »

This was after his spokesperson earlier said: « It is not the intention that tennis courts or golf courses remain open People can use public spaces or walk or run in the park « 

The ban has put Johnson at odds with members of his own party, including the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport selection committee

Julian Knight told Telegraph Sport: “This blanket ban is nonsense I can’t believe they didn’t understand how far these sports, and many sports, have gone to make sure of Covid security

« He loses his credibility for the government if he does not think about the measures he wants to impose like this one »

A spokesperson for the Lawn Tennis Association added: “The government said today it will not allow outdoor tennis courts to open in England during the period of new national restrictions that will come into effect. force Thursday It is extremely disappointing for anyone who enjoys tennis all over the country

« We will continue to present our case to them ahead of official legislation detailing the restrictions during the lockdown, which is yet to be released but is due to be voted on in parliament on Wednesday We will then provide you with an update on the final position of what is allowed and what is not « 

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Craig Tracey, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Golf and several industry leaders including England Golf Managing Director Jeremy Tomlinson wrote to the Prime Minister to urge him to exempt sport from confinement

A petition on Parliament’s website signed by Tomlinson has also been closed after collecting more than 250,000 signatures It must now be considered for debate by MPs

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Michael Gove, Lockdown, Tennis

World News – UK – Michael Gove stirs up confusion by claiming tennis and golf can « probably » continue until second lockdown


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