CPSA’s coronavirus safety guide

Shooting grounds have now reopened, and the CPSA have released a safety guide on how to protect yourself from Covid-19.

You can read the guide in full below:

We have all been living through difficult times and shooting facilities remained closed as we all played our part by staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

However, clay shooting can now return. We will all get to enjoy our sport, our friendships, our rivalries, and experience all the highs and lows that come as part and parcel of our wonderful sport.

‘Shoot Safe, Stay Safe’ is the message and, the following proposed guidelines will help us all prepare for opening grounds and clubs as Clay Shooting returns to our clubs and counties.

It is prudent to consider the necessary steps required ahead of re-opening facilities and restarting registered shooting. This is an initial framework and for guidance only.

We will continue to collaborate with other associations to develop this further, to ensure a responsible and organised return to shooting. Guidance may need to be re-issued as government measures to combat Covid-19 are reviewed and updated in the future.

It is important that we all do our part as we return to shooting – ‘Shoot Safe, Stay Safe’. Please take care of each other and ensure everyone follows official advice. We hope that you all stay safe and well.

Clay Shooting

Is an outdoor activity – taking place in large open air facilities across the country.

Is a non-contact sport that doesn’t need sharing of equipment between competitors or officials.

Can take advantage of information technology solutions to:

  • Take payments online or over the phone in advance (Sage Pay, Stripe, PayPal etc).
  • Restrict entry numbers to ensure social distancing (squadding).
  • Mange staggered entry times – limiting numbers on grounds and allowing for safe parking.
  • Avoid queuing and handling of cash, tickets or score cards.

Competitors are already required and used to wearing suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) so those taking part will be compliant with any additional requirements such as masks and gloves as required to achieve optimal biosecurity.

All competitors could be required (where possible for those with a suitable mobile phone), as a condition of entry, to use the NHSX digital contract-tracing app to protect and save lives. You can find more on that here: https://covid19.nhs.uk/

We can assist the NHS Test and Trace service by keeping a data protection compliant temporary record of staff, customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable and secure, to assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed, which could help contain clusters or outbreaks.

Read more here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhstest-and-trace

Shooters can travel independently by car or with immediate family members (same household).

Shooting facilities (clubs/grounds)

‘Shoot Safe, Stay Safe’ is part of our initial framework to support and guide shooters, clubs and counties as we return to shooting.

Please see: https://cpsa.co.uk/staysafe for the latest details.

Any guidance may need to be re-issued as government measures to combat Covid-19 are reviewed and updated in the future. As clubs plan the return of shooting, how our clubs and grounds are managed is a crucial element of
the re-start process.

The re-opening of our clubs and grounds must be done in a responsible manner, with the priority being the issues of public health and safety.
The ‘Shoot Safe, Stay Safe’ message is just as applicable to the running and organisation of clubs and grounds as it is to how our sport is shot.

Please find below guidelines and a checklist for consideration and planning in advance of re-opening and how to manage facilities. When adapting any changes for your specific club set up, it would be prudent to alter your current risk assessments or conduct one off risk assessments such that any unexpected hazards can be reviewed and addressed.


It is paramount that we ensure the safety and wellbeing of all of our staff, your staff, our members, and shooters. ‘Shoot Safe, Stay Safe’.

It will be made clear to anyone who is unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms, (such as a high temperature, new continuous cough, breathing difficulties, or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)), should not attend and stay home until they’ve completed the
recommended period of self-isolation and recovered fully.

For more information just click: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/

Those who are considered in a high-risk group should not attend.
Those who have recently been in close contact with someone with coronavirus or visited a high-risk area should stay home until they have completed the recommended period of self-isolation.


Should provide hand washing facilities with soap and water (preferably warm for comfort). Alcohol-based hand gel should be provided where soap and water are not available.

Consider providing gloves, face masks, hand sanitisers, wipes as required along with usual PPE. Consider printing out and displaying NHS hand washing and alcohol hand gel instructions at the relevant facilities. Close clubhouses or limit numbers in any enclosed spaces such as clubhouses.

Communicate in advance with shooters to advise on requirements such as social distancing that are being applied on arrival at the ground/club, for example not leaving cars until a certain time before their start time.

Purchases of cartridges should be made in advance and can then be delivered (non-contact) to the shooter’s car on arrival (e.g. phone / click and collect). Gun shops could consider local (non-contact) delivery of orders.
Membership cards should not be handled. Details can be checked electronically before shooting.

If first responders / first aiders need to provide immediate assistance requiring close contact until further medical assistance arrives then the guidance from Government and St Johns Ambulance should be followed. Taking sensible precautions to ensure you can treat any casualties effectively while keeping yourself safe.

Personal hygiene

Washing hands properly and regularly (e.g. for 20 seconds on arrival, before eating / drinking and on departure etc). Using alcohol-based (minimum of 60% alcohol) hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

Covering mouth and nose with a tissue, sleeve, or elbow (not hands) when coughing or sneezing. Putting used tissues in the bin immediately and washing hands afterwards.


Encourage non-contact alternatives to handshakes, kisses, or hugs.

Personal space/social distance

Remind everyone to maintain distance between each other, at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) where possible (no looking over the shoulder of other shooters etc).

Social distancing is as important after shooting as it is during a round, so when shooting is over all shooters must leave the course and the club/facility immediately so that there are no gatherings around the clubhouse area.

Bookings and payments

Organise a system of booking and allocation of shooting times that ensures the safety of staff and shooters. Consider protective Perspex screens, supply PPE for staff (gloves, eye protection, masks) and queue control measures where required.

Encourage electronic payments instead of cash in advance and issue starting times (squadding) to keep the numbers on site at any time limited as required.

Take payments online, over the phone in advance (Sage Pay, Stripe, PayPal, Square, Paym etc) or by bank transfer. Contactless payments may be another option here where it’s not possible to make payment in advance (up to £45).

If this isn’t possible encourage exact cash only, which could be deposited without handling etc. The maximum number of shooters in a group per time to be confirmed and must be in accordance with any government requirements.

There is to be a minimum of 10-minute intervals between squad start times, but longer intervals may be more appropriate depending on site.
Provide clear communications to shooter before and on arrival of the procedures in place and direct them to appropriate guidance e.g.

It is important that we all do our part – ‘Shoot Safe, Stay Safe’ –

Shooting and scoring

It is recommended that non-competition shooting only takes place during the initial period of shooting resuming. Competition shooting may resume without prize funds initially to avoid use of cash prizes.

Secure electronic payment methods (e.g. bank transfer (BACS), PTX Direct Credit etc) or other safe methods (e.g. emailing vouchers, posting cheques) should be considered here going forwards.

Resumption of competition shooting will be on the basis of registered shoot format guidance as published on our website at https://cpsa.co.uk/staysafe
For competition shooting a method of scoring needs to be used that does not require any handling or exchanging of scorecards.

Consider using digital scoring and acoustic release / foot operated release systems where possible. Methods of scoring that do not strictly comply with the rules may therefore be used: e.g. master cards only, text of membership number and score back to the office from the referee or no physical return of score card e.g. photo of score card returned electronically from referee etc.

Limit squads to a safe number of shooters and have strict start times with a referee to accompany shooters around layout(s). The referee will keep strict control of the score card(s) and ensure that hygiene and social distancing rules are always followed.

Referees to be issued with PPE including gloves, masks, sanitiser and wipes. To agree verbally that they accept responsibility for their own safety if not worn. For English Sporting (ESP) layouts consider waiting points 2 to 3 metres before each stand for the next group/squad.

Waiting points should be marked out to maintain social distancing for the group/squad while waiting too. It will be important to avoid bunching and over the shoulder watching while allowing the next squad to see the targets.

Referee to total scores and advise shooters at the end. No arguments. No picture taking of scores and strict control of social distancing and hygiene measures.

For Down The Line (DTL) layouts consider waiting points for the next group/squad and how to safely move between pegs e.g. 5 to 1 to maintain social distance. Waiting points should be marked out to maintain social distancing for the group/squad while waiting too.

For English Skeet (ESK) layouts consider marking out waiting points for shooters in the squad and waiting points for the next group / squad. Waiting points should be marked out to maintain social distancing for the group/squad while waiting too.

Consider running events over a number of days to allow for reduced numbers on site and limited numbers in squads.

Catering and refreshments

Consider keeping catering closed to begin with and encourage shooters to bring their own food and drinks where possible.

If catering is open then it’s recommended to operate take away services only and consider using disposable paper cups, plates, and utensils where appropriate washing facilities aren’t available.


Travel independently unless with an immediate family member (same household). Groups to be limited to 6 individuals (who must keep social distance at all times). Bring your usual Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) plus gloves, mask, hand sanitisers, wipes for your car / kit bag as required.

Pay by in advance (online, phone etc) or by contactless card/mobile device. If these are not possible then exact cash for the round. Bring your own flask of tea/coffee or cold refreshments & snacks. Do not expect catering to be

Expect to queue into the carpark. Stay in your car until directed by ground staff. Expect to queue and follow social distancing guidelines when queueing. Expect to not be permitted to bring guns, gun cases, shooting bags, or any other equipment into the clubhouse. Ready and leave your equipment in your vehicles.

Take rubbish away with you and dispose at home instead of at the ground.
Upon completion of shooting, plan to leave straight away – so as to avoid further contact and free up parking spaces.

Understand that the new normal may include adjustments to rules where necessary to ensure social distancing and optimal biosecurity, practice only shooting initially and after that registered competitions may not include prize funds for a period.

Understand that it is important that we all do our part as we return to shooting – ‘Shoot Safe, Stay Safe’. Please take care of and look out for each other and ensure that you follow all official advice.

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