The new 'rule of six' restrictions had caused concern
Fieldsports fans will be relieved to learn that shooting has been included on a list of sports that are exempt from the latest COVID-19 restrictions in England.
The ‘rule of six’ restrictions brought in today (14 September) in England could have disrupted gameshooting which usually includes eight or more people. However, the exemption will allow shooting to operate under COVID-safe guidance.
Shooting UK asked Rob Fenwick, Managing Director of EJ Churchill for his reaction. He commented: “I am delighted to receive the sensible news. We all need to do our part now and make sure that we follow all the guidelines and show good practice for Covid and our sport in general.”
Ian Bell, BASC’s chief executive, said: “The Government’s decision to allow shooting to continue in its current format in England is the right one. Like other team sports, shooting is able to operate under social distancing guidance, and its benefits to the rural economy and well-being makes its inclusion significant.
“We thank the Government for its commitment to allow shooting to continue to provide such wide-reaching benefits.
“Shooting in England joins Scotland in being given official exemptions to the ‘rule of six’ restrictions. Shooting in Wales and Northern Ireland remain unaffected by the latest restrictions.”
Liam Bell, National Gamekeepers Organisation Chairman said to us that he was “relieved that shooting was allowed to continue, with very little additional adjustment to people’s existing plans.”
Shooters must follow rules meticulously
Chris Horne, Managing Director of Guns on Pegs stressed that Guns have a responsibility to follow the rules by the letter: “Whilst in breeks we have a duty to our fellow sportsmen and women to uphold standards – we will be watched, so we must be squeaky clean.”
Groups of six
The Government website advises: “When participating in organised sport or licensed physical activity, you must not gather in groups of more than six before and after the activity. You must also ensure you socially distance from people you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) wherever possible.
“When playing sports informally with people you don’t live with, you must limit the size of your group to 6. It is illegal to do so in a larger group and you may be fined.”