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England update 07.01.21

Following greater clarity from Government on its Covid-19 guidance and regulations, we can now confirm that in England outdoor shooting activities as a form of exercise ARE permitted 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 firearms certificates. If you have no local shooting available then you will have to take your daily exercise in other ways. Driven agme shooting is not permitted. Walked-up, rough shooting, deer stalking etc. are permitted as long as you can adhere to the two conditions as stated.

More details:

05.01.21 England update

From midnight Wednesday 06 January, all of England will be under a tight stay-at-home order. This is legally binding. Please go to the below link for full details:

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. This will be put in law. The police can take action against you if you leave home without a ‘reasonable excuse’, and issue you with a fine (Fixed Penalty Notice).

You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

Some extracts relevant to shooting and country sports:

Exercising and meeting other people

You should minimise time spent outside your home.

  • It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.
  • You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting). This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • You can exercise in a public outdoor place by yourself, with the people you live with, with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one) or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household.
  • Public outdoor places include: parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests, public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), the grounds of a heritage site, playgrounds.
  • Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close.

Sports and physical activity

  • Indoor gyms and sports facilities will remain closed. Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges and riding arenas must also close. Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue.

Travel for outdoor exercise

  • This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space).


You may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home.

Where people cannot work from home they should continue to travel to their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting sectors and employers.

Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home.

The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.


  1. Animal welfare based work and farm work should continue. This should include game bird feeding and other necessary related management, whether welfare based or environmental. Sufficient feed for released birds should be provided until adequate natural food is available, normally to the end of May. Clearly the cessation of driven and other multi-person shooting creates a challenge for many shoots and estates. Please see the Code of Good Shooting Practice for more detail and contact your representative body if you need further guidance.
  2. As clarified on 07 January 2021, the England stay-at-home order now does permit outdoor shooting activities country sports. This includes recreational stalking, rough shooting etc.
  3. Shooting ranges such as clay grounds must close.
  4. Outdoor work which is justifiably essential should continue, albeit with Covid mindfulness. Employers and employees should be clear on their responsibilities and operational needs. Essential work MAY include pest control and other essential wildlife management, but it should be justifiably essential and not just a leisure purpose. If you are undertaking such wildlife management then please get a letter from your farm or estate justifying your work and travel requirement.
  5. Please read the Government England stay-at-home order at the link above. We are getting queries from persons who have made no effort to read the links provided. If after reading the Government detail you are still unclear, then feel free to contact us for a chat. Non-members should contact their own representative body for guidance. Please understand that we are a membership association and must focus our work on our own members.