Angling centres and golf courses across East Ayrshire are set to reopen this week after an announcement from the First Minister last Thursday.

Nicola Sturgeon announced that certain sporting activities could resume as part of a phased easing of lockdown measures.

Phase one, which would allow “unrestricted outdoors exercise” and could see the return of sports such as golf, hiking, canoeing, outdoor swimming, and angling will begin on Thursday, May 28 if the COVID-19 reinfection rate and the number of infectious cases continues to decline.

On the announcement, Jim Smith, club captain at the New Cumnock Golf Club said: “We’re still waiting for a decision from Nicola on Thursday, but we’re planning for her to say get out on the golf course. As soon as she says that we can open, we will open.

“Everybody’s champing at the bit. Our feeling is that golf, as long as we obey the rules, is one of the safest sports you can do in the circumstances.”

The club has put in place various measures to ensure that they are complying with public health advice such as closing the clubhouse and only allowing groups of no more than two people to play together.

Another of the businesses set to benefit from the planned easing is the Cumnock and District Angling Association.

Chairman Alex Reid said: “We’re opening on Thursday. I don’t know if it will be busy or not. We’ve got all the cleaning stuff in ready to go.

“It was a big relief. A lot of the fisheries were sitting with too many fish. It’s become a welfare problem for the fish.”


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