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|Golf courses slowly coming back to life|
Since the end of the first phase of social distancing, Madam Nguyen Thi Nga, chairwoman of BRG Group, has petitioned Hanoi to allow the opening of hotels and golf courses if they follow safety conditions to reduce losses for businesses. Madam Nga said that since the pandemic, BRG has suffered heavy losses in all business fields with an initial total loss of nearly VND1 trillion ($43.5 million). However, this recommendation has not been approved yet because Hanoi is still considered as a high-risk area.
Vietnam currently has 52 golf courses, split into 21 in the north, 17 in the centre and 14 in the south.
During the peak period of the pandemic from the end of March to the mid-April, all golf courses must temporarily cease to operate under the Prime Minister’s instructions.
On April 20, the two golf courses in Vung Tau province belonging to the low-risk local group, The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip and Vung Tau Paradise Golf Resort, have reopened but only accepted members. In addition to ensuring the mandatory prevention and control conditions according to the general standards of the Ministry of Health, these two golf courses also do not allow more than 10 people per area as required by Vung Tau province.
When the social distancing order was eased on April 23, Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee also allowed golf courses to open if they would strictly comply with regulations on disease prevention and stay under the management and supervision of functional agencies and local authorities. In the evening of the same day, Vietnam Golf & Country Club officially announced its reopening on April 24. Similarly, Vinh Phuc People’s Committee also decided to allow sports activities such as golf, tennis, volleyball, and badminton, but with a limited number of participants.
According to an update on the online golf booking application Fastee, 23 golf courses in Vietnam have reopened after the social distancing ended, including eight courses in the north, nine ones in the centre and six in the south. In provinces and cities like Hanoi, Hoa Binh, Haiphong, Nha Trang, and Binh Duong, no golf courses have reopened.
Should there be no new case in the community for two weeks, many other golf courses and tourist sites in Vietnam will be are ready for the reopening.Some localities such as Lao Cai, Cao Bang, Son La, and Ninh Binh also started to open to domestic tourists. With these positive signals, all golf courses in Vietnam are likely to operate normally from the beginning of May, with the requirement of ensuring the safety measures for the players in compliance with regulations of social distancing.