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British Cycling Updated Coronavirus/Covid-19 Guidance

British Cycling Updated Coronavirus/Covid-19 Guidance

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Through this page we have aimed to answer all of your questions on cycling under the current restrictions, and what it all means for Clubs, events, facilities, coaches and others involved in our sport.

Our full library of guidance documents on safely resuming cycling activities and events can be found here.

This page was last updated on: Thursday 23 July 2020. The most recent changes are highlighted by an asterisk at the end of the relevant section heading

What is the current UK Government advice on physical activity?*

In England, groups of up to six people from different households are now permitted to exercise together, however they must still follow social distancing guidelines and keep at least one metre plus mitigations from those outside their household.

Current measures in England also state that:

  • If you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating, you should stay at home.
  • You may exercise outdoors as many times each day as you wish.
  • You can sit and rest outside before, during and after your ride.
  • You may drive to outdoor publicly accessible open spaces irrespective of distance.
  • In line with UK Government guidance, those aged over 70 should continue to take care to minimise contact with others outside their household.

Following discussions with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, we have revised our guidance so that clubs and groups are now able to ride ‘one metre plus mitigations’ apart in all circumstances, in groups of six or fewer. The 'mitigations' listed by Government include being outdoors and being side-to-side (avoiding face-to-face contact), both of which are achieved in group riding.

Previously our guidance has been that riders from different households should remain at least two metres apart unless if is not safe or possible to do so, however we know that this often makes riding two abreast impossible and there are clear safety and practical issues with riding in groups of six single file. As riders are outdoors and not ‘face-to-face’ we requested that DCMS allow us to make this change and following their agreement groups are permitted to ride at ‘one metre plus mitigations’ in all circumstances with immediate effect.

When cycling in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, you should follow the guidance and regulations issued by the relevant devolved administration. You can find the most up-to-date guidance for riding in Scotland here and in Wales here.

You should also make yourself aware of any local lockdown measures – such as those currently in place in Leicester – and adhere to the relevant restrictions within the area.

What is the current state of play for Clubs, groups and British Cycling recreation programmes?

On Thursday 18 June we announced that we were immediately lifting the suspension on club and group activity, and that the suspension of our recreation programmes would end on Saturday 4 July to enable Breeze Champions and Ride Leaders to access new training materials on safely leading group rides (which will be available before the end of June). Please note that all rides must adhere to Government guidelines on group size (currently max 6) and social distancing (see question above).

You can read the full announcement on club, group and recreation activity here.

What does this mean for coaches, leaders and instructors?*

On Thursday 23 July 2020 we changed our guidance for coaching. Coach-led activity is now permitted for groups of up to 30 participants, including coaches, per session.

Our full guidance for coaches, leaders and instructors is detailed in The Way Forward, which you can find here. If you have any further questions, please email

What does the new guidance mean for cycling facilities like pump tracks and outdoor velodromes?*

You can find our guidance for facility operators, which was last updated on Thursday 23 July, through the button below. Further industry guidance is also available from UK Active and Sport England.

Guidance for facility operators

As a British Cycling member, what does this mean for my third-party liability insurance?

British Cycling’s third-party liability insurance and legal support and advice member benefits remain in place for all Commute, Ride, Race Silver and Race Gold members.

Those riding in groups which comply with Government guidelines (see above) will be covered, though at this time British Cycling strongly encourages riders to only cycle in smaller groups at present, and should only ride in a group of six if they are absolutely sure it is safe to do so.

Please note that insurance cover provided to members and clubs will be invalid if they are wilfully contravening Government advice – ie. riding in large groups of more than six – or participating in activities which are currently suspended.

What will happen if people don't ride responsibly?

While the recent loosening of restrictions on cycling outdoors is good news, it remains vitally important that you adhere to Government guidelines. The Government has made clear that this easing of restrictions is contingent upon people continuing to act responsibly, and a rise in the infection rate may lead to more stringent measures being reintroduced.

What support is there to help me keep active at this time?

Guidance on riding outdoors can be found in the section above, titled ‘What are the changes from June 1?’ British Cycling has a number of great initiatives to help people get and stay active at this time, including:

  • HSBC UK Let’s Ride Local – A new microsite containing all the information, inspiration and activities you need to enjoy cycling as a family.
  • Commute Smart – Learn to commute by bike with confidence through this great series of short videos, covering everything from planning routes to packing kit.
  • HSBC UK Ready Set Ride – Our free games and activities are perfect for teaching the little ones how to ride. We split the process into three simple stages: Prepare to ride; Balance; and Pedals.
  • British Cycling Ride Series – Virtually rub shoulders with riders from the Great Britain Cycling Team through our popular ride series, delivered in partnership with Zwift.

Sport England is encouraging people to share their own home workouts using the hashtag #StayInWorkOut

Will I get a refund for a British Cycling-sanctioned event I’ve entered which has now been suspended?

Yes. British Cycling is working with sanctioned event organisers to ensure that this process takes place as efficiently as possible. If an organiser is considering rearranging their event to a later date, there is also the option to mutually agree with the rider to carry the entry fee over to the rearranged date.

I’m an event organiser – what should I do next?

Further information for event organisers is available here.

How will this affect my ranking points and my ambitions to move up through racing categories?

Following internal and external consultation, British Cycling can confirm that events across all disciplines will be designated as non-ranking for the remainder of 2020, or until further notice.

Given that riders will not be able to claim ranking points, no rider will be moved down a licence category at the end of the year, while those who collected sufficient points to move up a category prior to the suspension of racing in March will be able to retain that higher category. We hope that the opportunity to race new formats across a variety of disciplines will encourage many new riders to come and get involved. Find out more here.

What support is available for cycling businesses?

The sport and the cycling industry are an ecosystem of small businesses and self-employed people who, along with many thousands of volunteers, allow the sport to exist.

Many people and businesses from across our sport will be extremely worried about the immediate and longer-term impact on their lives and livelihoods. British Cycling, Welsh Cycling and Scottish Cycling are in constant communication with UK Sport, Sport England, Sport Wales and Sport Scotland to understand what immediate and long-term support will be available for the sport sector over the coming weeks and months. The sport sector's advocacy organisation, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, is keeping all NGBs updated with guidance

We are encouraging every person and business owner to turn to your employer (if you have one), your bank and the free HMRC helplines (in England and Wales: 0300 456 3565 In Scotland: 0300 303 0660) to understand what the immediate steps are that you can take to ensure you and your families have enough money to live. There are excellent online resources such as Money Saving Expert which are providing up-to-date advice from financial experts.

Specifically regarding financial pressures for the operators of cycling facilities, we have set up this short survey to better understand the pressures that facilities are experiencing so that we can ask for the support we need from Government.

Sport England and UK Sport have worked with BDO Accountants to create a website containing guidance for clubs, operators and other businesses in the sport sector. To visit the site, click here.

Still unsure about anything?

Click here to find out the best way to contact British Cycling.