For specific enquiries related to COVID-19, please email covid-19@basc.org.uk

New government regulations came into force in England on 14 September restricting social gatherings to no more than six people both indoors and outdoors. However, after substantial work by BASC and other organisations with government ministers and pro-shooting MPs, shooting has been included in the activities that are exempt from the rule of six.

  • Any outdoor physical activity which requires a licence issued by a public body for the activity itself, or for equipment used during the activity, will be exempt from the limits on numbers who may gather together.
  • For shooting, this means that where the organiser or a participant holds a valid shotgun or firearms certificate, there is no limit to the number of people who can gather for the purpose of the relevant activity while outdoors.
  • The organiser will be required to have undertaken a health and safety risk assessment and put in place all reasonable measures to limit transmission of COVID-19, including ‘test and trace’ procedures.
  • Employees, such as beaters, pickers-up and loaders, are also exempt from gathering limits, both indoors and outdoors, where their gathering is necessary for work purposes.

Generally, outdoor recreational activities, including shooting, can take place and there are no restrictions on how far you can travel. Shooting activities include target shooting, recreational and essential pest control, recreational deer stalking, wildfowling and game shooting.

All holiday accommodation is allowed to open as long as establishments follow appropriate guidance.

Non-essential retail businesses, including gun shops, are allowed to open.

Shoot lunches

Shoot lunches taken indoors will need to conform to the ‘rule of six’. If on a business premises then more than six people may be present in total, but they must be in individual groups no larger than six, must maintain social distancing and may not socially interact with other groups. If the premises are not a business e.g. a shoot hut on a small DIY syndicate, then the total number of people allowed to gather will be six indoors.

Indoor rifle ranges and airgun ranges

From 24 September, organised indoor sport, such as indoor target shooting, can continue to take place with more than six people present at the range, but no individual group should exceed six in total. Groups must not mix.

Outdoor airgun ranges can continue to operate with more than six people as ‘outdoor organised sport’.

In all cases, government guidance and governing body guidance must be followed.

Click here for National Smallbore Rifle Association guidance.

Click here for National Rifle Association guidance.

Local restrictions

BASC has reviewed all local restrictions in England and we can confirm that these will not have any impact on shooting within the affected areas.

Click here for updates on localised restrictions.

Downloads and related links 

Click here to download the latest COVID secure guidance for game shoots in England.

Click here for Government guidance on participating in sport and physical activity in groups of more than 6 (see section 3.15).

Outdoor recreational activities, including shooting, can take place and whilst there are no restrictions on how far you can travel you should be mindful of the risks of spreading the virus by travel and should use your judgement when deciding whether or not you should travel, depending on your particular circumstances.

Shooting activities include target shooting, recreational and essential pest control, recreational deer stalking, wildfowling and game shooting.

All holiday accommodation is allowed to open providing establishments follow the latest guidance and have appropriate risk assessments in place. Retail businesses, including gun shops, are allowed to open.

Indoor and outdoor gatherings (excluding private dwellings).

Currently, as a group of individuals, you may gather indoors or outdoors up to a maximum of 15 people. The 15-person limit does not apply to a gathering where a recognised person is responsible for organising or operating the gathering and it is organised or operated for cultural, educational, recreational or outdoor sports purposes, and where an appropriate risk assessment has been produced.

Click here to download the latest COVID-19 guidance for Northern Ireland.

Click here for more on the regulations.

Click here for updates on localised restrictions.

Travel restrictions in Scotland have been lifted and it is possible to travel anywhere in Scotland for outdoor recreation, including shooting activities such as target shooting, recreational and essential pest control, recreational deer stalking, wildfowling and game shooting. Travel into and out of Scotland is also allowed.

Non-essential retail businesses, including gun shops are allowed to open.

All holiday accommodation is now permitted to open as long as establishments follow appropriate guidance. Visitor attractions are also permitted to open.

From 14 September social gatherings have been restricted to no more than six people from no more than two households, both indoors and outdoors. While this obviously affects social gatherings both before and after a shoot day this will not affect the shoot itself. A Scottish Government exemption exists for “services or activities that are already exempt from these restrictions and have been permitted to open subject to their own guidance such as organised sport”. This exemption covers shooting which is an organised sport and shooting is included in government approved guidance for country sports in Scotland.

We are aware that many members will be visiting Scotland in the coming months and are concerned about new restrictions on visiting other households that took effect on 23 September. We have been advised that the ‘one household rule’ that applies to people’s homes will also apply to some commercial accommodation businesses, including self-catering accommodation. Other commercial accommodation businesses (such as hotels) are not impacted by the ‘one household rule’, but they are still subject to the ‘rule of six’ (a maximum of six people from two different households).

We are working with stakeholder organisations to lobby for a more consistent approach across the various types of commercial accommodation businesses, which are a vital component of Scotland’s rural economy.

Click here for an update from The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers.

The rules for meeting other people in public indoor spaces that are subject to strict regulation and guidance remain the same – you can meet with one other household only and in groups of no more than six people.

In addition, the Scottish Government has advised against car sharing with people outside your own household.

Click here to download the government approved guidance for country sports in Scotland.

Click here for the latest Government guidance for Scotland.

Click here for updates on localised restrictions.

Outdoor recreational activities, including shooting, can take place and there are no restrictions on how far you can travel, with the exception of counties where local restrictions have been introduced.

Shooting activities include target shooting, recreational and essential pest control, recreational deer stalking, wildfowling and game shooting.

Retail businesses, including gun shops, are allowed to open.

All holiday accommodation is allowed to open as long as establishments follow appropriate guidance.

Up to 30 people are permitted to meet outdoors, regardless of how many households they are from, providing social distancing is maintained.

From 14 September indoor gatherings have been restricted to a maximum of 6 people. Shoot lunches must comply with Welsh Government regulations and follow appropriate social distancing between groups. Each group must have no more than 6 members from up to four households and must follow social distancing guidance at all times.

Click here for the latest Government guidance for Wales

Click here for updates on localised restrictions

So far BASC’s COVID-19 guidance visits have achieved…

300

visits to date with another 

30

booked in.

Issued

4,000

items of PPE with another order in place.

We have pulled together a number of resources to help pass the time.
From fun activities for children to how to prepare your dog for the season, we have something for everyone.

COVID-19 guidance visits for game shoots

It has been a year like no other and the Coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty for shoots up and down the country. As restrictions begin to ease, the prospect of a shooting season is improving, but we need to stay safe. BASC is launching COVID-19 guidance visits to help ease this transition and secure opportunities for shooting this year.

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