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Nobody’s exactly sure what Government’s “super simple rule” about social gatherings means for cycling events

Illegal for more than six people to gather from Monday – British Cycling and Cycling UK still trying to work out what that will mean in practice

"In social settings, you can't gather in groups of more than six. That's it, [a] really super simple rule," said Health Secretary Matt Hancock on the BBC yesterday morning. Sport England have since said that people can take part in organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols. What exactly does that mean in practice? Clarity, as ever, is just a touch muddy.

From September 14, it will be illegal for more than six people to gather either indoors or outdoors in England, with fines of £100 dished out to those who don't comply.

Organised team sports carried out in a "COVID-secure way" can however involve more than six people.

According to Sport England, people can continue to:

  • take part in organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols
  • take part in organised outdoor sports and physical activity events
  • use leisure facilities, including gyms and pools

A spokesperson explained: “That’s because these sports and activities have stringent plans in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19, and these venues are classed as Covid secure given the measures they have introduced.”

In June, British Cycling published a document, The Way Forward: Planning a safe return to cycle sport events, in which it outlined how it planned to return to normal activities post-lockdown, and also announced the return of coaching and club activities.

Competitive events got back underway in August, followed by sportives from September 5.

New rules introduced for sportives were that participants must not ride in groups of more than six at any point during the event.

Riders were to be released from the start line in waves, each departing at 45-second intervals, and with start times allocated to ensure that no more than 24 riders in the vicinity of the start line at any time.

Organisers were also asked to ensure that event village, feed station and start/finish infrastructure was large enough to accommodate social distancing, and that riders could access their goody bags, medals or refreshments via a ‘self-serve’ system.

Events were also obliged to ensure that they are aware of and adhere to any relevant local restrictions.

Much of this would seem to fit with the new rule about groups of six – until you start wondering whether half a dozen riders in a group would need to be from just three households in line with the new rules for meeting outside.

We would guess that this detail is sidestepped through considering a sportive a “Covid secure event” - but that is by no means certain.

The obligation to adhere to local restrictions, meanwhile, appears a potential can of worms, opening up the possibility of different local authorities or police forces interpreting the rules differently - particularly with many councils asking for much greater control in terms of how they manage coronavirus.

British Cycling were uncertain what the changes would mean when we asked them to clarify yesterday.

We also spoke with Cycling UK, who told us they were, "trying to work out what it all means," and would be deciding on a policy soon.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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18 comments

Avatar
Cargobike | 3 years ago
4 likes

IMO lockdown has been lifted far too much anyway, so this latest ruling will have no bearing on my riding or scial life whatsoever, I'll continue to ride alone and live like a monk, it's hardly difficult if you apply a bit of discipline.

Ultimately, our Tory government are bricking themselves as  Brexit and continuing lockdown measures don't sit well together. We will either Brexit or get a hande on C-19, but doing both will totally bankrupt the economy.

I wonder which the Tories will choose. Death or blue passports?

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to Cargobike | 3 years ago
4 likes

[quote=Cargobike

I wonder which the Tories will choose. Death or blue passports?

[/quote]

Blue passports and your death.

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brooksby replied to Cargobike | 3 years ago
2 likes
Cargobike wrote:

IMO lockdown has been lifted far too much anyway, so this latest ruling will have no bearing on my riding or scial life whatsoever, I'll continue to ride alone and live like a monk, it's hardly difficult if you apply a bit of discipline.

Ultimately, our Tory government are bricking themselves as  Brexit and continuing lockdown measures don't sit well together. We will either Brexit or get a hande on C-19, but doing both will totally bankrupt the economy.

I wonder which the Tories will choose. Death or blue passports?

What would Dom do?

Avatar
Richard D | 3 years ago
13 likes

The rules seem straightforward to me.  No more than six people can gather in any one place unless someone is making a profit.

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eburtthebike | 3 years ago
3 likes

If they wanted us to follow these new rules, surely they would have got someone with authority, credibility and trust to announce them?  Not Boris the Liar.

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wtjs replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago
5 likes

Not Boris the Liar

A large number of people still view him as the 'Saviour of the Nation' because they thought of all the things they didn't like about their lives and leapt at his explanation that it was all due to the Evil EU. They have still to fully discover how catastrophically wrong they were, but even people as dim as this must be getting some inkling by now, from the Covid performance of the bunch of hopeless duffers presently masquerading as a UK Government.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to wtjs | 3 years ago
5 likes

Remember it was his "Oven Ready" deal that we are now reneging on.....

Still as it is being spun as "good for the nations interests" people won't see it like that.

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eburtthebike replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago
5 likes
AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

Remember it was his "Oven Ready" deal that we are not reneging on.....

Still as it is being spun as "good for the nations interests" people won't see it like that.

Avatar
David9694 replied to wtjs | 3 years ago
1 like

"...they thought of all the things they didn't like about their lives and leapt at his explanation that it was all due to the Evil EU."

I still don't understand what Brexit is meant to be. It seems to keep changing. 

Can anyone explain what (now) we're poised to renege on?* I assume we're being lined-up for "no deal" in October?

* genuine question, honest. On the one hand, fisheries and commercial company subsidies, "the only sticking-points" in the EU Exit negotiations - fisheries: don't care; Subsidies to companies - don't understand why that's even a thing.  On the other hand grave concern from Europe, etc. 

The other thing that really puzzles me is how this government (courageously?) positions itself in the firing-line for things - your kid flunked their exams - blame the government; Christmas plans cancelled: blame Grinch Boris. 

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Rick_Rude replied to David9694 | 3 years ago
6 likes

I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further

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hawkinspeter replied to Rick_Rude | 3 years ago
3 likes
Rick_Rude wrote:

I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further

That's no moonshot

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ktache replied to hawkinspeter | 3 years ago
4 likes

I thought they smelled bad on the outside...

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brooksby replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago
3 likes

Do we still get to criticise Any Other Country Ever for breaking international law?  Or is it only if they break it in limited and specific ways?

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brooksby | 3 years ago
0 likes

Personally, I'm still trying to work out how "a group of six people, no more than that, but you can go the pub; but no more than six of you!" will work in practice...

Does each six have to be two metres (or one metre plus) from every other six?

Do the people in that six all have to be two metres (or one metre plus) from each of the other people in the same six?

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Sriracha replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
0 likes

If you are within 2m of someone then you are in a group with them and anyone within 2m of them, and so on. If not, not. I think that's how it works.

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Awavey replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
0 likes

for the pub to be open it has to have followed the rules that make it a covid secure venue, that means a number of steps have been taken to mitigate the risk of covid infection spreading. So that would include ensuring tables are limited to 6 people and tables I believe only have to be 1m apart because the extra measures are in place, ie tables get cleaned after use or regularly, clear one way system, limits on numbers using toilets at one time, no queuing or standing at the bar, table service etc etc, some go beyond the rules so insist on booking tables, card payments only etc etc. and now track and trace data must be collected and held for 21 days.

so you can see to be a covid secure venue you have to jump through a number of hoops & follow certain rules that allows you to ease certain restrictions to operate, if you arent covid secure or following the same rules, as for instance peoples homes arent, then those restrictions stay in place.

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quiff replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
0 likes

You need to stay 2m (or 1m plus other mitigating measures) away from anyone not in your household or support bubble, whether they're part of your group of six or not, and including in the pub.   

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Jetmans Dad replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
0 likes

The one and only time I have been in a pub since lockdown eased was last week in Cornwall. They enforced no more than 6 in a group already, no going to the bar (we were eating but it was table service just for beer as well), all groups were seated at tables at least 2m apart, and with perspex screens in between.

According to the staff, they had to do that all in order to be allowed to reopen in the first place. 

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