22.6.2020 - Welsh Cycling update
This update looks at the implications for cycling in Wales based on recent announcements from Welsh Government and British Cycling.
As the National Governing Body for cycling in Wales, in responding to the situation that has arisen due to Coronavirus, we need to follow the regulations and guidance issued by Welsh Government. Furthermore, as we are part of British Cycling we follow their position on permitting cycling activities as a phased return of competitive and group riding is brought across the UK.
The recent announcement from the First Minister of Wales on Friday, 19th June 2020 relating to the strategy of bringing Wales out of lockdown:
The regulations and guidance around exercise in Wales has not changed since the last review on the 29th May. Please refer to the Welsh Government FAQs here. The message that we have been promoting and sharing with our clubs and members remains the same:
- Ride on your own or with one other household
- Your ride has to start/finish at home (This may change from the 6 July, 2020) – Welsh Government regulations
- Keep social distancing measure of two metres apart
- Ride responsibly and within your ability.
The First Minister confirmed in his announcement that the relaxation of the ‘stay local’ five-mile guidance could be lifted on the 6th July IF the coronavirus is ‘where they want it to be’. We will provide further updates on how this affects the return of competitive and group riding here in Wales when we have more information.
There has been a further development regarding elite athletes returning to training in Wales. Sport Wales and Commonwealth Games Wales published a press release last Friday afternoon which outlined the plan of athletes returning in a phased manner.
The key headlines are:
- Elite athletes who need qualifying points for the Olympics, Paralympics and the Commonwealth Games will return first as soon as Welsh Government give the go-ahead for training to begin.
- Some outdoor facilities may open but strict social distancing will remain in place coupled with the current travel restrictions and number of households limits in place.
You can read the full release here.
British Cycling’s The Way Forward Document
Last week our colleagues at British Cycling provided an update on the return to cycling in the UK. You can read the document here.
Welsh Cycling contributed to this document throughout its development, but as guidance relating to social distancing differs in Wales, some of the dates and easing of activities are not applicable.
Coaching, club and group activity including Breeze leaders
With restrictions in Wales still only permitting two different households to meet up, combined with the current travel restrictions, club and group activities (including HSBC UK Breeze and recreational programmes) are difficult at the moment. We want to remind you that recreational rides are not sanctioned at the moment, so are not insured. We are continuing the preparation of guidance and when restrictions lift we will provide further information on how to start competitive and group cycling safely.
Coaching can resume as long as:
- It follows the Welsh Government regulations (i.e the two household rule and within your local area)
- The activity has been risk assessed
- Any venue used has a risk assessment (in line with regulations from Welsh Government and advice from British Cycling) in place.
Cycling facilities / venues
There has also been an update to the Welsh Government regulations around facilities opening. From 22nd June, all outdoor sport and leisure facilities, with the exception of playgrounds and outdoor gyms are allowed to open. The type of facilities that can now re-open, subject to all other measures being met, includes outdoor velodromes. The facility operators are expected to take all necessary measures to manage risk and maintain social distancing. The restriction on gatherings of people from more than two households still applies. It is therefore more likely that activities will be on a casual basis and the facility operator’s regulations will need to be adhered to.
The guidelines for our sport are changing quickly, and rest-assured we are working hard to prepare for what the next phase of the return to cycling will look like.
Should you wish to know more about Welsh Cycling Events and Series please click here. There is no change, but we are working with the Heads of Commissions to assess the situation and will share more information when we have it.
To stay up-to-date with the latest information please click here or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for the latest news. Or to find out about our #ChooseCycling campaign here in Wales please click here.
Thank you for your continued support - please continue to ride responsibly and stay safe.
30.5.2020 - Welsh Cycling Update
In regard to the recent announcement from the First Minister of Wales, relating to the strategy of bringing Wales out of lockdown, Welsh Cycling understands the guidance from Monday 1st June, is as follows:
- The 5 miles distance guidance for meeting people from another household applies to meeting with another household in a social context and does not change the current regulations or guidelines for exercising.
- You can ride with someone from one other household, but no more than one household and you should observe all social distancing measures.
The message that we have been promoting and sharing with our clubs and members remains the same - that is to stay local, ride responsibly and within your ability.
The Welsh Government FAQs state that:
- If your preferred form of exercise or leisure is one that can only be undertaken in specific locations, this still needs to be carried out locally. Examples of this might include golf, angling or water sports. If there is a place where you can do these within your local area, then you are free to do so, but it would not be permissible to drive outside your local area for these purposes.
- However, we recognise there are certain forms of exercise which, though you start locally, may temporarily take you further afield. For example, a strong cyclist may get their exercise through bike rides of 40 miles or more. Exercise as a form of “active” travel in this way (a long cycle ride, run or walk) is now allowed, as long as the exercise starts and finishes from home.
- That said, it is important not to risk spreading the virus by breaking that exercise and stopping or congregating with others outside your local area. Crowded places should be avoided, and social distancing should be maintained. The rules on gathering with others also mean that while you can now exercise with people from one other household, group activities are still not allowed.
We recognise that the recent announcement showed some signals that Welsh Government is preparing the country for further lockdown easing. When this happens we are asking people to choose cycling.
On Monday we will be launching a campaign across our website and social media channels called Choose Cycling, so stay tuned for further information.
British Cycling issued a further update on the current suspension of sanctioned cycling activity, which was due to run until 30 June 2020, which you can find here.
We have also offered an update around our Welsh Cycling events and series which you can find here
If you need to contact the team here at Welsh Cycling, contact details for our staff who are not on furlough, please click here.
Welsh Government have pulled together a FAQ document here. If you have any questions about any of the guidance outlined here please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will then pass on your question to the Welsh Government.
We have pulled together a FAQ document with some key answers, to some key questions.
Further information is below about what this means for our Welsh Cycling members and clubs across Wales:
- Those organisers whose events were due to take place before June 30 will have their events manually cancelled by British Cycling via the Event Management System. Further information will be made available in due course
- Welsh Cycling will work alongside these event organisers on the refund process for entered riders
- Welsh Cycling will work alongside organisers to identify a way to progress the race calendar once Government advice permits racing to recommence
- Those organisers whose events are due to take place after June 30 are advised that Welsh Cycling will issue further advice as and when Government guidance progresses. We appreciate that organisers will be making their own contingency plans, and may need to cancel events post-April 30 to provide certainty
- Our recommendation to clubs is that no organised activity (including rides, training, coaching, events) should take place during this period, in line with government advice on social gatherings on non-essential travel.
- We are directing Welsh Cycling staff to suspend their organised activity with clubs and groups.
- You can still go out on your bike – we just recommend that you follow the latest advice with regards to hygiene and social distancing. More information in the links below.
Ride Leaders/Breeze Champions
- Any British Cycling-sanctioned ride which was due to take place prior to June 30 in Wales cannot now go ahead, and will be cancelled by British Cycling.
- We would urge Ride Leaders/Breeze Champions to ensure that any level of organised activity they choose to undertake away from British Cycling-sanctioned rides is in line with Government advice. Please see links below for further guidance. We will be in communication with the relevant authorities to seek additional advice on your behalf.
- Any participant who had paid to enter an event before June 30 will be issued with a refund in due course. We are working alongside event organisers to ensure that this process is as efficient as possible
- For riders booked onto sessions in the upcoming weeks, session fees will be rolled forward to when sessions recommence.
- As in other countries affected by the virus, guidance is that professional riders can continue to train, as long as Government advice is adhered to.
- Any course scheduled to take place prior to June 30 will not now go ahead. British Cycling will arrange refunds where applicable in due course and will look to reschedule once Government advice permits activity to recommence.
Welsh Cycling recommends that clubs:
• Prioritise the health and wellbeing of all participants, coaches, volunteers and all others involved in activity.
• Keep in contact with any facility which you meet at or use as part of your activity and follow their guidance too.
• Consider your communication to club members, participants and volunteers who no longer wish to take part in activity due to health concerns. This should be accepted as a given and supported.
• Ensure that coaches and volunteers are well supported and, in a position to deliver safe activity.
• Consider overall numbers that are likely to be involved within club environments and sessions and whether you need to make any changes (e.g. splitting into smaller groups etc) to ensure risks are minimised.
• Prohibit the sharing of equipment, particularly gloves, helmets and clothing.
• If you have planned indoor activities involving large numbers of people in close proximity, consider the size of these gatherings and whether alternative approaches to training should be used.
• Consider their refund policy for club activity. If you suspend activity you are likely to be asked this question, so we recommend that you ensure your club has an agreed position and that it is clearly communicated to your members.
• Review the guidance provided by appropriate agencies regularly and update club information when required.
• Consider the risk level of any activity and the current need to reduce pressure on emergency services.
• Follow and promote the advice that has been provided by the appropriate agencies regarding the best way to minimise the risks of infection, as well as the advice provided should anyone become unwell and develop symptoms of COVID-19.
Welsh Cycling offices are not on complete lockdown at the moment, but the situation is fluid at the moment. So if you need to contact a member of our team, here are a list of useful contacts who will be able to answer questions.
Chief Executive Officer
01633 274 691 | email@example.com
Communications & PR Officer
07808 609 266 | firstname.lastname@example.org/>
Finance & Office Manager
Beverley Kibble | email@example.com
Commercial & Partnership Manager
07710 022 666 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhys James | 07934 854 599 | email@example.com
Director of Performance
Matt Cosgrove | 07714 499618
Darren Tudor | 07515 606619
To protect yourself and other people:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Please follow all the guidance on how to avoid catching and spreading the virus, your health is first and foremost.