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From 14 September Scottish Government will be enacting a new ‘Rule of Six’ for gatherings of people, which will limit the number of persons that can meet up both indoors and outdoors to six people from two households. This will include meeting up or gatherings in homes, gardens, pubs and restaurants. Children under the age of 12 will not count towards the total.

There are no real surprises with new restrictions being brought into play by UK Gov or any of the devolved administrations, such as Scotland in this case - we only need to watch the news each day to see the general direction of travel. That said, we all have a much better understanding of the virus and what we need to do as individuals and communities to minimise spread and especially risk of transmission to those most vulnerable.


So, does this affect shooting, fishing and stalking activities in Scotland?

The latest version of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 Routemap states: “The changes to meeting socially do not apply to 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.”

Further, on 24th August an exemption was created for organised outdoor events of up to 200 people with physical distancing.

Relevant Scottish country sports representative bodies have discussed yesterday’s statement by the First Minister. Dr. Colin Shedden from BASC Scotland, emphasised that our activities are an organised sport for which we have our own Scottish Government approved Covid-19 guidance framework, which should allow an exemption. SACS supports this view. In representing our diverse members, all of the relevant organisations spent a great deal of time working together on our sector Covid-19 country sports framework, eventually approved and supported by Scottish Government, therefore we firmly tick the appropriate routemap box

BASC Scotland's statement is as follows:

“As long as shoots and shooting parties follow the government approved guidance for country sports in Scotland then such outdoor activity should continue as before. Obviously, there will be new restrictions on socialising before and after the shoot. There are no travel restrictions in place so visitors to Scotland should not be affected.”

We just can’t say it any clearer than that.

Member queries on Covid-19

We have been getting a volume of queries in relation to small technical matters related to Covid-19 from “can we share a bothy kettle?” to “should we nominate one person to open and close gates?”. All have been sensible questions – the only daft question being one not asked. However, the foundation principles remain the same regardless of the detail: maintain physical distance from other persons outwith your household and maintain good hygiene (soap, water, hand sanitiser, face coverings where required and appropriate, avoid touching your face).

Whatever the situation please apply those basic principles and a degree of common sense. Also bear in mind that all this is an attempt to minimise transmission rather than prevent it entirely. Anyone placing themselves in an environment where they can come into contact with others or items touched by others is taking a personal decision for which they are responsible.

Call or email the office via the contact us page if you have a question. Meantime, SACS and its partner organisations (including SGA, BASC, CA, BDS, ADMG, SLE, GWCT) will continue to work together on behalf of all in our sector. We will update you as we hear anything further. Because things are changing so much and often, please continue to watch national and local news.

Stay well, stay safe and make the very best of the season and what is sure to be a memorable year.

Published on 11.09.2020