Chief Executive of the R&A Martin Slumbers has issued a message to all 149th Open fans and stakeholders in light of Covid-19 and vaccine developments in the United Kingdom.
His cautiously optimistic message stated: “the situation with the Covid-19 pandemic continues to improve in the UK and the rapid roll-out of the vaccine programme gives us growing confidence that we will be able to welcome a significant number of fans to the Championship as part of a reduced capacity model.”
To date, the UK has vaccinated 60 million people, and in terms of population percentage of vaccinations, second only to Israel (60 vs. 56%). Whilst ever hopeful of fans being able to attend the 149th Open, international travel has not taken off as many had hoped. The state of individual nations’ vaccine rollouts is so staggered that many fans will not be allowed to travel to the UK by July for the tournament, which leads to anticipation of a further announcement on fan restrictions to the 149th Open. Such restrictions may be that fans will not be admitted without proof of vaccination, or fans may be admitted based on their country of origin, such as the UK, Ireland and US, all of which have high vaccination rates. Whatever the result, the 149th Open will look different from the 148th Open at Royal Portrush in 2019, however, it will be more fan-friendly than any other golf event in the last 12 months.
Slumbers’ announcement included provision for contingencies to the full-scale event: “We recognise that a number of important decisions have still to be made by the government, on issues such as social distancing, testing and Covid certification, which will have a significant bearing on the potential level of attendance at the Championship.” The 149th Open will be played in July 2021 at Royal St Georges Golf Club in Kent.
I have a booking for the 149th Open but don’t live in the UK
Voyages.golf understands the significance of international travel restrictions and the stress that can be caused due to border complications. If you have a booking with Voyages.golf or Events Travel for the 149th Open and want your questions answered, please get in contact with us. We strive to deliver the best experience, even if it means that you can’t make your scheduled trip.