by Countryside Alliance

The Countryside Alliance has confirmed that hunts that wish to conduct their activities with more than six people can do so while complying with the latest legislation published on 13th September.

After substantial involvement from the Alliance, which liaised with government ministers and supportive MPs, the Government announced exemptions to the ‘rule of six’ for England which cover hunting activities. The Countryside Alliance has taken legal advice on the legislation, which came into force on 14th September, which confirmed that hunts can continue to operate under the “sports gatherings” exemption. 

  • A “sports gathering” is a gathering which is organised for the purposes for allowing persons who are not elite sportspersons to take part in any sport or other fitness related activity. 
  • These gatherings can be organised by businesses, ie. hunts, and take place outdoors. 
  • The organiser will be required to have undertaken a health and safety risk assessment and put in place all reasonable measures to limit transmission of COVID-19. 
  • The exemption does not apply indoors where the gathering limit of six people still applies 
  • Further guidance has been circulated to hunt officials by the hunting authorities and is available on the Hunting Office website. The Hunting Office is also advising hunts operating in areas where further restrictions have been introduced.‚Äč

It is important to remember that the exemption only covers the activity of trail hunting. Any social gathering before, during or after the day’s hunting is not exempted and people must therefore comply with the regulations which include a limit of six people in any gathering. Hunt supporters should also comply fully with the Covid plans put in place by individual hunts including track and trace, and social distancing during trail hunting activities.

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