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

For urgent advice only over the weekend please telephone the relevant regional number from the list below:

Wales – Saturday & Sunday
Steve Griffiths – 07771 921 500

Scotland – Saturday & Sunday
Colin Shedden – 07770 990 222

Northern Ireland – Saturday & Sunday
Tommy Mayne – 07775 400 531

England – Saturday
Matt Dutton – 07585 967 452
Sam Walker – 07977 549 304
David Gervers – 07733 123 333

England – Sunday
Lewis Thornley – 07825 547 195
Innis Finlay – 07825 401 148

Coronavirus advice for England

Coronavirus advice for Scotland

Coronavirus advice for Northern Ireland

Coronavirus advice for Wales

The purpose of the new national lockdown in England is to ensure that people stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

Government guidance and regulations have been published.

You must not leave home or travel unless you have a reasonable excuse.

In light of the government providing greater clarity on its Covid-19 guidance and regulations, BASC is advising that outdoor shooting activities as a form of exercise are permissible once per day in England during the national lockdown, subject to two conditions.

  1. You should only travel locally to shoot which is to “stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live” as defined in government guidance.
  2. When shooting you should only meet with people you live with, your support bubble; or when on your own, with one person from another household.

If you cannot comply with these conditions, then you must not shoot as a form of exercise. To do so would place you at risk of a fine and may jeopardise your shotgun and/or firearm certificate. If you have no local shooting available then you will have to take your daily exercise in other ways.

In light of these conditions BASC does not consider that driven game shooting or other group shooting activities should take place.

The social, physical and personal benefits of participating in shooting have been evidenced and recognised. Whilst taking part in outdoor shooting activities as a form of exercise remain permissible please consider the personal benefit relative to the societal benefit of staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

Shooting-related essential work is permitted in England and it is reasonable to travel outside your local area to carry out that essential work. This includes essential bird and mammal pest control to protect crops or livestock such as the shooting and trapping of pest bird species under general licence; the management of rodents and rabbits; deer management as part of a plan agreed with and requested by the landowner. It is advised that you keep a copy of your shooting permission and a written request to undertake essential work with you so that you can present them if challenged by the authorities.

Game management work and gamekeeping activities such as management of game birds, conducting pest/predator control and undertaking habitat management are also permitted.

Everyone shooting during the Covid-19 pandemic must consider the impact of their actions on the image and reputation of the sport. We all have a responsibility to comply with Government regulations and guidance, and failure to do so may place you at risk of a fine and jeopardise your shotgun and firearm certificates.

Click here for the latest government guidance

A national lockdown is in force in Northern Ireland.

BASC has received clarification that recreational shooting is permitted in Northern Ireland during the current Covid-19 restrictions.

Rough shooting, game shooting, deerstalking and wildfowling can take place on an individual basis, with members of your own household or your bubble, or with one person from another household. Driven shooting and shooting in groups, is not permitted.

There is a strong Stay at Home message from the Northern Ireland Executive which is now legally enforceable. You must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse (for example, for exercise, work or education purposes). You should not travel more than 10 miles from your home in order to take exercise.

All non-essential retail have closed and click and collect facilities are not permitted.  However, delivery is permitted.

Shooting-related essential work is permitted and travelling to carry out this essential work is permitted. This includes essential bird and mammal pest control to protect crops or livestock such as the shooting and trapping of pest bird species under general licence; the management of rodents and rabbits; deer management as part of a plan agreed with and requested by the landowner; and game management or gamekeeping activities such pest/predator control and habitat management.

Some of the restrictions are law through regulation, while others are guidance. Everyone is legally required to comply with the regulations.

Click here for more information on the restrictions

Scotland has adopted a 5 tier approach to Coronavirus restrictions. Tiers have been assigned by local authority area and range from 0 – 4. To find out which tier your local authority area is in, click here.  

Travel restrictions for England, Wales and NI remain in place and non-essential travel will continue to be unlawful to and from Scotland and England; to and from Scotland and Wales; and to and from Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

Breaching these travel rules is a criminal offence. Police Scotland have doubled their patrols in the border region between Scotland and England to increase compliance. 

New Stay At Home Restrictions – Effective from 5th January 2021

Following the First Minister’s announcement, new ‘stay at home’ coronavirus restrictions will come into effect on the 5th January 2021. This means that all those residing in a tier 4 area should stay at home by law, and may only leave for an essential purpose.

Sport and exercise is deemed to be an essential reason to travel. This means that shooting activity (such as wildfowling, deer stalking or rough shooting) can take place in line with the following conditions:

i)                   Shooting activity may only take place within the local authority area in which you reside, or within five miles of your local authority area boundary. This means, for example, that someone residing in Angus could go deer stalking in Perth and Kinross, provided they are within 5 miles of the Angus local authority border.        

ii)                  No more than two people from two separate households may participate in shooting activity;

iii)                 There is no limit to the number of people participating in shooting activity if all participants are from the same household or extended household

In light of the stringent socialising conditions BASC does not consider that driven game shooting or other group shooting activities should take place.

Essential pest control is considered an essential purpose to travel. Essential pest control could include: essential bird and mammal pest control to protect crops or livestock such as the shooting and trapping of pest bird species under general licence; the management of rodents and rabbits; deer management as part of a plan agreed with and requested by the landowner; and game management or gamekeeping activities such as looking after game birds, pest/predator control and habitat management. All those undertaking essential pest control should carry written permission from the owner or occupier which states that they are contracted to undertake such activity.  

Click here for the latest Covid-19 regulations and guidance

Click here for the latest tourism and hospitality sector guidance

The restrictions pertaining to each tier are signposted in the table below:

ScotlandTier 0Tier 1Tier 2Tier 3Tier 4
Socialising indoorsMax eight people from three households indoors.Max six people from two households indoors.No in-home socialising. Max six people from two households in indoor public settings (such as hospitality venues).Same as Tier 2.No in-home socialising. 
Socialising outdoors

Max fifteen people from five households outdoors.

As an outdoor sport with Scottish Government endorsed guidance, shooting is exempt from socialising restrictions.

Max eight people from three households outdoors.

As an outdoor sport with Scottish Government endorsed guidance, shooting is exempt from socialising restrictions.

Max six people from two households outdoors.

As an outdoor sport with Scottish Government endorsed guidance, shooting is exempt from socialising restrictions.

Same as Tier 2.

Max two people from two households outdoors.

There are no exemptions to socialising restrictions in Tier 4 for shooting. Therefore only a maximum of two people from two households may shoot together.  

TransportAvoid car sharing with people outside extended household wherever possible.Same as Tier 0.Same as Tier 0.Same as Tier 0.Same as Tier 0.
TravelNo non-essential travel to/from level 3 or higher areas in Scotland and equivalents in rest of UK. This restriction is enshrined in law, meaning it is illegal to break this restriction.Same as Tier 0.Same as Tier 0.No non-essential travel into or out of the level 3 area. This restriction is enshrined in law, meaning it is illegal to break this restriction.No non-essential travel into or out of the level 4 area. This restriction is enshrined in law, meaning it is illegal to break this restriction.
Shooting SportsAll outdoor shooting sports are permitted and are not constrained by socialising restrictions provided sector guidance is adhered to. Travel restrictions for tier 3 and tier 4 areas still apply. Same as Tier 0.Same as Tier 0.Same as Tier 0.Shooting sports may take place but are constrained by outdoor socialising and travel restrictions. No more than two guns from two households may shoot together. 
Essential Pest ControlEssential pest control (including deer management) is permitted and is classed as an essential activity – meaning you can travel between local authority areas to conduct this activity. Written permission from the owner or occupier should be carried.Same as Tier 0.Same as Tier 0.Same as Tier 0.Same as Tier 0.
AccommodationAll holiday accommodation is closed to tourism. Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation may open for essential customers only. Same as Tier 0.Same as Tier 0. Same as Tier 0. Same as Tier 0. 

 

Alert Level 4 restrictions for all of Wales were reviewed on 29 January. The restrictions will remain in place largely as before with one important change for outdoor recreational shooting – that from 30 January an individual may meet outdoors with one other person from one other local household for the purposes of outdoor exercise. Travelling in a vehicle to exercise is still not permitted. 

BASC’s advice on Covid restrictions in Wales from 30 January onwards is as follows:

People are expected to stay at home; with travel only allowed for a reasonable excuse. Meetings outdoors are allowed between people of the same household or support bubble; and an individual may meet outdoors with one other person from one other local household for the purposes of outdoor exercise.

Under Level 4 restrictions it is not a reasonable excuse to travel anywhere in Wales to take part in recreational shooting activities such as target shooting, deer stalking, wildfowling, rough shooting and driven game shooting.

Outdoor shooting activities as a form of exercise are permissible as long as you can access your permission by foot from your home and return by foot to your home; and ensuring that your shooting activity is carried out alone, with a member of your household or support bubble, or with one other person from one other local household.

Gathering for game shooting (including driven days) is illegal and therefore BASC insurance will not cover you in the event of an accident if you choose to partake in any of these activities.

Under Level 4 restrictions shooting-related essential work is permitted and it is a reasonable excuse to travel to carry out that essential work. This includes essential bird and mammal pest control to protect crops or livestock such as the shooting and trapping of pest bird species under general licence; the management of rodents and rabbits; deer management as part of a plan agreed with and requested by the landowner; and game management or gamekeeping activities such as looking after game birds, pest/predator control and habitat management.

It continues to be unlawful to travel to and from Scotland; and to travel to and from Northern Ireland; unless for essential reasons as outlined in the Welsh, Scottish and NI regulations. For more information visit the Scotland and NI sections of BASC’s coronavirus website.

Everyone shooting and travelling to shoot should consider the impact of their actions on the reputation of shooting.

Click here for Level 4 FAQs

Latest Covid-19 news

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

450

visits to date with another 

Issued

6,100

items of PPE.

Coronavirus financial support for businesses and individuals

Covid-19 has dramatically impacted all our lives. Since the beginning of the first lockdown the government has provided a series of financial support schemes to help businesses and individuals overcome loss of work and income. BASC has compiled a list of schemes that could aid shooting and shooting related businesses.

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.