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Shooting parties exempt from ‘rule of six’ – but what other activities made the list?

Written by on 14 September 2020

The government has been accused of making coronavirus rule exemptions “for their mates” after it emerged that groups of more than six can go hunting.

New guidelines came into force in England on Monday, with members of the public facing fines of up to GBP3,200 if they gather in groups of more than six people, which aims to curb an increase in COVID-19 cases.

However, new government advice provided an exemption for some sports and activities including shooting.

Other physical activities that can be done in groups of more than six include team sports such as rugby and football, as well as sailing, angling and polo.

More niche sports to make it onto the list include dodgeball, floorball, goalball and octopush.

Labour has criticised the move, claiming the shooting exemption “shows where the government’s priorities really lie”.

Shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard said: “Across the country, people are struggling to get COVID-19 tests anywhere near their homes.

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“But the Conservatives are distracted with trying to exempt the bloodsport passions of their big donors from coronavirus regulations. It shows where this government’s priorities really lie.

“It is clear there’s one rule for the Cabinet and their mates and another for the rest of us.”

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The guidance says: “When participating in organised sport or licensed physical activity, you must not gather in groups of more than six before and after the activity. You must also ensure you socially distance from people you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) wherever possible.

“When playing sports informally with people you don’t live with, you must limit the size of your group to six. It is illegal to do so in a larger group and you may be fined.”

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Here is the full list of organised sport or licensed outdoor physical activity that you can do in groups of more than six:

  • Angling
  • Baseball/Softball
  • Basketball
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Caving
  • Climbing
  • Curling
  • Cricket
  • Dodgeball
  • Dragon Boat Racing
  • Equestrian
  • Floorball
  • Football
  • Gaelic Sports
  • Goalball
  • Hockey
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Netball
  • Octopush (underwater hockey)
  • Polo
  • Roller Sports
  • Rowing
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Rounders
  • Sailing/Yachting
  • Shooting (including hunting and paintball that requires a shotgun or firearms certificate licence)
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball