The European Tour is preparing to resume play this summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tour announced a six-tournament “UK Swing” on Thursday, which will mark its first tournaments back since suspending operations in march due to the coronavirus.
The Betfred British Masters will kick things off on July 22. It’ll then be followed by both the English Open and the English Championship before jumping to Wales for both the Celtic Classic and Wales Open at Celtic manor. The UK Championship at The Belfry will conclude the swing at the end of August.
All six events will be played without fans and have strict safety protocols in place.
“We have consistently said that safety is our absolute priority and that is why today we are announcing our resumption in two months’ time supported by a comprehensive health strategy which has been led by our medical team,” European Tour CEO Keith Pelley said in a statement, via ESPN.
“Without question we have had to think differently about the remainder of our 2020 season which is reflected in today’s announcement. As golf’s global tour, diversity is ordinarily one of our strengths, but in this instance it has become one of our biggest challenges.
“Initially, therefore, based on the expert guidance we received, playing in clusters, in one territory, is the best option in terms of testing, travel and accommodation.”
There were nearly 270,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom as of Thursday night, according to The New York Times, and nearly 38,000 deaths attributed to it. Only the United States, Brazil and Russia have more confirmed cases.
The PGA Tour is preparing to resume play, too, though will do so about a month sooner. It will kick back off with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 11. The first four tournaments back will be held without fans, and several safety measures — including chartered flights, health screenings and testing, a central hotel and more — are in place.
The John Deere Classic canceled its tournament on Thursday, however, over concerns and restrictions related to the virus. It was set to be the fifth tournament on the revised schedule, and the first one where fans were going to be allowed back in.
The European Tour also announced revised dates for four Rolex Series events. The Scottish Open will take place starting on Oct. 8, and be followed by the BMW PGA Championship the next week. The Nedbank Golf Challenge was moved to Dec. 3 in South Africa. The DP World Tour Championship will then end the season starting on Dec. 10 in Dubai.
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