British Cycling has told the government to officially recommend cycling to the public during the coronavirus outbreak.
While the government has advised that people take precautions to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, including avoiding non-essential social contact and travel, there has been no specific guideline issued on whether people should be out cycling in the world.
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Riding your bike is a great way to stay healthy while adhering to social distancing, but some countries have banned cycling outside because of concerns that crashes and injury would put more strain on health services during the crisis.
But national governing body British Cycling has urged the government to formally recommend cycling during the outbreak.
In a letter to health secretary Matt Hancock, BC chief executive Julie Harrington, said: “Riding bicycles offers us a unique solution to several of the key challenges facing us. It is a safe form of local transport and gentle recreation, keeping us the required distance from others, while at the same time strengthening our immune systems and bolstering our mental health.
“All of this helps reduce the strain on our NHS and may make people feel more comfortable about spending prolonged periods at home.”
Harrington’s letter comes after a group of experts called on the government to support walking and cycling during this crisis.
In Spain, cyclists face fines and even arrest for riding outside as the police are trying to reduce the strain on the health service caused by any crashes, while in France cycling is now heavily restricted.
British Cycling says that cycling outside can still be done while adhering to social distancing advice, including staying two metres from others, and that Britain should follow in the footsteps of nations like Germany.
Harrington added: “This approach s being followed elsewhere, where we have in some cases seen government advise their citizens to cycle more. Indeed, Germany’s Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn this week appealed for people to walk or cycle rather than use public transport.”
British Cycling insurance remains in place for all Commute, Ride, Race Silver and Race Gold members.