GROUSE shoots and hunting have been given a special exemption from the new coronavirus “rule of six”.
The new law means from today it will be illegal for people to meet in groups larger than six.
Hunting and shooting groups will be able to hold gatherings of up to 30 people because of an exemption hat allows licensed “outdoor activity”.
Brits in England are not allow to meet with more than five other people indoors or outdoors if it is a social gathering.
But there are a handful of carve out for sports clubs, weddings, funerals and even political protests.
They also have an exemption for when “a gathering takes place outdoors (whether or not in a public outdoor space)” for the purpose of a “physical activity which is carried on outdoors” and the organiser holds a licence, permit or certificate.
Guidance published by Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs today said “shooting (including hunting and paintball that requires a shotgun or firearms certificate licence” counts as a “sport or organised outdoor activity”.
It means “country sports” such as grouse and pheasant shooting and hunting can continue with up to 30 people.
People who break the rules and meet in groups larger than six face fines of up to £100.
The Cabinet Office’s special Covid-19 Operation ministerial committed organised for a meeting to be chaired by Michael Gove n Saturday.
A meeting by the Cabinet Office’s special Covid-19 Operation ministerial committee was organised for Saturday, set to be chaired by Michael Gove, and one of the items on the agenda was “Exemption: hunting and shooting”, HuffPost UK has reported.
But the meeting was cancelled only hours before, with cabinet ministers and officials told the issue would be discussed another time or via ministerial correspondence.
Sources believe the meeting was cancelled to avoid any eyebrows by ministers.
A source said the shooting problem held up the publication of the regulation – which was only made public 20 minutes before the rules kicked in at midnight on Sunday.
The Sun has requested comment from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
A UK Government spokesperson said: “We have exempted over thirty types of sport, exercise and physical activity such as football, rugby and other outdoor pursuits
“Outdoor activity is safer from a transmission perspective, and it is often easier to social distance. Where such activities take place, safety measures must be taken including conducting a risk assessment and compliance with COVID-19 Secure guidance.”
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