23 Sept Update - COVID19 Phase 1, 2 & 3 Guidance for Shooting


COVID19 Guidance: Phases 1, 2, & 3 For Scotland - Extension to Exercise


23rd September 2020 Update

Update to COVID-19 Guidance in Scotland

Yesterday the First Minister provided an update setting out a tightening of coronavirus-related restrictions, in response to an increase in the rate of spread of the virus. The priorities mentioned were to save lives and protect health, keep schools open, restart as many non-coronavirus NHS services as possible, and protect jobs by keeping businesses open where possible. The approach announced was more targeted than earlier in the year and did not constitute a return to full lockdown. The steps announced will be reviewed in 3 weeks.

Having confirmed the details, STS and the SCTA are pleased to confirm that there is no immediate and/or direct impact on the sport of target shooting over and above what has been previously released. To clarify, the imposed limitations on indoor sport in England, outlined by the Prime Minister yesterday, will not currently be replicated in Scotland so the restrictions on indoor sport remain as previously communicated and contained in version 1.4 of the STS guidance for target shooting in Scotland.

However, there was an indication that reviews around sport activity, that had previously received an indicative date of 5 October, are now likely to be further delayed. As a reminder, the potential changes most relevant for sport suggested for review were:

  • Indoor Contact Sport: Allowed to resume for adults and young people aged 12 and over in line with SGB guidance. (Currently only allowed for children under 12.)
  • Sports Stadia: Allowed to re-open for limited numbers.
  • Events: There will be further relaxation of restrictions on indoor and outdoor events, although this will not allow all events and particularly large events to take place.

To summarise the key points from the First Minister’s announcement that do not specifically relate to sport but may have an indirect relevance and/or impact on it are:

  • Private Gatherings:
  1. People will not be allowed to visit other households indoors. The public are asked to abide by this from Wednesday Sept 23rd and will be placed into law from Friday 25th.
  2. There are exceptions for extended households, non-cohabiting couples, informal childcare, trades people.
  3. It is still acceptable to meet outdoors, including in private gardens, keeping to the 6 people / 2 household guidance.
  4. When outdoors, under 12s do not count towards either the 6 people or 2 household limit.
  5. When outdoors, 12 to 18 year olds must keep to the limit of 6 people, but are exempted from the 2 household limit.
  • Car Sharing: People should not car share with those from outside their household.
  • Hospitality Curfew: Pubs, restaurants and bars are required to close at 10pm.
  • Environmental Health: Additional funding for local Environmental Health teams, allowing for greater capacity for inspections of businesses to enhance compliance and enforcement.
  • Work From Home: People should continue to work from home where possible.
  • FACTS: The main public health ‘FACTS’ messaging remains: Face coverings; Avoid crowded places; Clean your hands regularly; Two meters distance; Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.
  • Shielding: No return to shielding advice.

As has been the case throughout COVID-19, the response from shooters and their club members have been fantastic and contribute to why sport in Scotland has remained exempt from some of the restrictions being imposed. Please keep up this good work.


11th September 2020 Update

Following the First Ministers briefing - confirmation from STS and sportscotland that clay shooting, if following the guidelines, can continue.

Yesterday, the First Minister updated Scottish Parliament yesterday on the review of the route map through and out of the pandemic. She noted that while Scotland had successfully suppressed the virus in the summer, confirmed positive case numbers have recently risen. As a result, the criteria have not been met to progress to Phase 4 of the route map. She also noted that the Scottish Government’s assessment is that we are now reaching or have reached the limit of what can be safely open up. An updated route map is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: Scotland's route map update – 10 September 2020.

In terms of sport, the headline is that due to the actions taken by governing bodies, sports clubs and individuals to contain the virus, outdoor sport and indoor non-contact sport (i.e. all forms of shooting) is exempt from the announced tightening of restrictions around social gatherings. This therefore means that the guidance previously published by STS and the SCTA shall remain in place and is still the guidance to follow.

However, due to the rise in cases, it was confirmed that there will be a delay in the indicative date at which further steps might be taken to ease restrictions. This indicative date had been 14 September but in view of the current increase in cases, this has been moved back to Monday 5 October 2020. This new date remains indicative and falls after the next formal review point on Thursday 1 October.

The reason for sport getting these privileges is due to the efforts made by those in the sector, so STS and the SCTA would like to congratulate clubs for the efforts you have gone to, we know these have not been easy. To ensure we continue to do all we can to suppress the virus in shooting and benefit from the privileges attributed to the wider sporting sector, there are two areas STS would strongly recommend and endorse to clubs and your members:

  • Protect Scotland app - The Protect Scotland App from NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect is a free, mobile phone App (available from the Apple Store and Google Play) designed to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid further lockdowns. The App will alert you if you have been in close contact with another App user who tests positive for coronavirus. Additionally, if you test positive, it can help in determining contacts that you may have otherwise missed while keeping your information private and anonymous. With infections starting to rise again, it is important that you download and use the Protect Scotland App to help stop the spread of coronavirus. More information can be found at: https://protect.scot/
  • COVID 19 Officer e-learning Module: sportscotland has developed an e-learning module to provide COVID Officers with key information and guidance to support clubs to return safely to the delivery of sport and physical activity. If your club is looking to re-open it is important that each club has at least one COVID Officer and that each officer takes this training to help understand the role and the areas to look out for. Sports across Scotland are signposting this to their clubs and it is important that shooting clubs are actively involved in this free and valuable training. The module should take less than an hour to complete and can be found at: https://rise.articulate.com/share/LlEWUj-o23H_4gC1AF002jdxdrCucQC0#/

Clearly there are still challenges for sport and we are not blind to these but the exception made around sporting activity is welcome, especially in view of plans many clubs have made to re-start activity. STS and the SCTA hopes that this exemption means that shooting clubs that have already opened, can remain open, while those looking to open in the near future, can continue along the timelines already put in place.