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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.

While a number of restrictions remain in place, we still want you to enjoy getting out on your bike whenever possible, with all of the physical and mental health benefits that brings. Our full library of guidance documents on safely resuming cycling activities and events can be found here. You can find the most up-to-date guidance for riding in Scotland here and in Wales here.

This page was last updated on Thursday 15 October 2020. Recent changes are highlighted by an asterisk at the end of the relevant section heading.

What activities are currently permitted to take place?*

All outdoor activities currently sanctioned under The Way Forward guidance (such as club rides, coaching sessions, recreation programme activity and certain cycle sport events) are permitted to continue in England. These activities should ensure that they adhere to maximum group size limits (six people for club/group rides, 30 for coaching sessions), and all other relevant guidance set out on this page.

Indoor activities and events, which adhere to our guidance, are permitted to take place in areas with a ‘Medium’ Covid alert level.

What about areas in the ‘High’ and ‘Very high’ alert levels?*

We are pleased to say that outdoor activities which are currently permitted by our guidance are able to continue at every stage of the Government’s new three-tier alert level system.

While indoor activities can continue as before in ‘Medium’ areas, guidance published by Sport England on Thursday 15 October states that in ‘High’ or ‘Very high’ areas only people from the same household or support bubble can take part in indoor activities. As a result of this, we are unfortunately no longer able to sanction indoor events or coaching sessions in ‘High’ or ‘Very high’ areas.

Please note that under-18s and disabled people are exempt from this rule and can continue to take part in indoor activities across the three alert levels.

Could there be additional local restrictions to those set out in the tier system?*

Yes. Under the new system local leaders in areas which have been designated as ‘Very high’ will be given the autonomy to implement additional measures to control the virus.

British Cycling will monitor those areas which are designated ‘Very high’, and we will notify relevant groups of any changes which impact cycling events or activities.

Can I travel to take part in British Cycling events and activities?

This depends on your area's coronavirus alert level.

Medium (Tier 1): Yes. However, people shouldn’t travel into ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) alert areas to take part in sport and physical activity.

High (Tier 2): Yes, travel for physical activity is allowed within and in/out of the area for sport and physical activity. However, it’s recommended that travel is minimised where possible. People shouldn’t travel into ‘Very high’ (Tier 3) alert areas to take part in sport and physical activity. 

Very high (Tier 3): People can travel within a ‘Very high’ alert area to take part in sport and physical activity. They should try to avoid travelling outside their area or entering another ‘Very high’ alert level area. This doesn't apply to travel where it is necessary to enable disability sport, elite sport or supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s to take place.

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

Club, group and recreation programme activities have all now resumed in England, and are currently limited to six riders. All participants should ensure that they comply with relevant travel guidance, which can be found in the travel section above.

Clubs and groups are now able to ride ‘one metre plus mitigations’ apart in all circumstances, rather than having to maintain a two-metre gap. The 'mitigations' listed by the UK Government include being outdoors and being side-to-side (avoiding face-to-face contact), both of which are achieved in group riding.

Multiple groups of six are permitted to begin their rides at the same location, however groups should be kept wholly separate, start times should be staggered and they should take different routes if possible to prevent groups from merging during the ride.

At any mid-ride stops and the finish location you should continue to adhere to the ‘Rule of 6’, which prohibits groups of more than six from socialising together indoors or outdoors. More information on this can be found here.

We would like to remind all cyclists that under the new rules the police are able to enforce these legal limits, and if you break them you could face a fine (fixed penalty notice) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.

More detailed guidance for Clubs and groups can be found here, and further questions relating to British Cycling recreation programmes should be emailed to breeze@britishcycling.org.uk or rideleader@britishcycling.org.uk.

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

Outdoor coach-led activity can now take place in groups of up to 30 participants, including coaches, per session.

Indoor coaching sessions are permitted to take place in areas with a ‘Medium’ Covid alert level, however we are unfortunately unable to sanction indoor activities in ‘High’ or ‘Very high’ areas at this time. Please note that sessions for under-18s and disabled people can continue at all alert levels.

For indoor activities in ‘Medium’ areas, the ‘Rule of Six’ continues to apply. Therefore, while sessions for adults can still take place in groups of up to 30, the group will need to split into separate bubbles of six riders which should be kept separate during the session (ie. not forming one large group on the track). Sessions for under-18s and those with disabilities are exempt from this change.

Our full guidance for coaches, leaders and instructors can be found here. If you have any further questions, please email education@britishcycling.org.uk.

What are the rules on spectating at indoor events and activities?

In areas with a ‘Medium’ alert level, spectating is permitted in venues which follow Covid-secure guidelines. However, spectators must not congregate in groups of more than six.

In ‘High’ and ‘Very high’ areas no indoor spectators are allowed. Adults who are acting in a safeguarding/supervising capacity are exempt.

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

You can find our most up-to-date guidance for facility operators here. Further industry guidance is also available from UK Active and Sport England.

If you are planning to attend a facility in a ‘High’ or ‘Very high’ area it is advised that you check with the facility operator beforehand to see if there are any changes to opening times or procedures.

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

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

I’m an event organiser – what support is available for me?

Our Events team are working to support organisers in safely planning their events. Our general and discipline-specific guidance for cycle sport events can be found here, and our team can also be contacted by email at events@britishcycling.org.uk.

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.

Still unsure about anything?

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