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Gun Sports: Coronavirus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22nd May 2020.

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Photo of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Conservative, The Cotswolds

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to enable the early resumption of shooting after the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government has said people can now leave their homes for the purposes of open-air recreation in public open spaces to promote their physical or mental health or emotional wellbeing. What counts as “open-air recreation” is not defined in the regulations but would include shooting. The regulations define public open spaces as:

(a) Land laid out as a public garden or used for the purpose of recreation by members of the public;

(b) land which is "open country" as defined in section 59(2) of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, as that definition has been extended by section 16(1) of the Countryside Act 1968;

(c) land which is "access land" for the purposes of Part 1 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (see section 1(1) of that Act)

The Government has published guidance on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation. Outdoor sports courts and other outdoor sporting activities are permitted to reopen if those responsible for them are ready to do so and they can do so safely, following public health guidance. This can be found on the GOV.UK website at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-phased-return-of-outdoor-sport-and-recreation

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