Coronavirus Advice

England

Road map to lift lockdown

A road map to lift lockdown in England has been published.

Changes taking effect from 8 March are mainly around education and childcare and there are no changes to the current lockdown rules for shooting (see the section below ‘advice on current lockdown’).

Step 1: no earlier than 29 March

  • A key change is the ‘rule of 6’ being reintroduced. This means that outdoor shooting and related activities will be permitted in groups up to a maximum of 6 people. People will still be required to socially distance from each other. 
  • Outdoor sports facilities can reopen, including outdoor shooting venues. These facilities can be used by people in line with the ‘rule of 6’.
  • Formally organised outdoor sports will be permitted to restart and will not be subject to the gatherings limits but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies. This will not permit for ‘hospitality’ services such as serving of food and drink for consumption on the premises.
  • Whilst the ‘Stay at Home’ requirement will be lifted, people should continue to minimise travel wherever possible, and should not be staying away from home overnight at this stage.

Step 2: no earlier than 12 April

  • The ‘rule of 6’ remains for outdoor gatherings, and household mixing indoors is still not permitted in this step.
  • Non-essential retail including gun shops, and indoor leisure facilities including indoor shooting venues, will be permitted to reopen but should only be visited alone or with household groups.
  • Overnight stays away from home in England will be permitted in self-contained accommodation – those that do not require shared use of bathing, entry/exit, catering or sleeping facilities – can also reopen, though must only be used by members of the same household.
  • Shooting venues offering hospitality will be able to open for outdoor service. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain.
  • Mitigations, including workforce testing and continued social distancing guidance will be required.

Step 3: no earlier than 17 May

  • Subject to review, people will be able to meet indoors in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (‘rule of 6’) or with one other household.
  • People will be able to meet outside in groups up to a maximum of 30 people for shooting and conservation activities. People from different households will still be required to socially distance from each other.
  • Indoor hospitality will be permitted. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain.
  • Other forms of accommodation, such as hotels, hostels and B&Bs will be able to reopen.
  • Adult indoor group sports, including indoor group shooting activities will be permitted in line with ‘rule of 6’ gathering limits.
  • Some large events, including conferences, theatre and concert performances and sports events will be permitted, subject to venue capacity and gathering limits.
  • Mitigations, including workforce testing and continued social distancing guidance will be required.

Step 4: no earlier than 21 June

  • All forms of shooting and conservation activities permitted, with all remaining legal limits on social contact lifted.
  • Guidance will be published on the steps to take to limit transmission of the virus when social contact is no longer limited.

Advice on current lockdown

The purpose of the current 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

Coronavirus advice for Northern Ireland

Find out more

Coronavirus advice for Scotland

Find out more

Coronavirus advice for Wales

Find out more