How new Coronavirus lockdown restrictions affect motorcycling

Coronavirus restrictions update tiers_THUMB

 

This article will be kept updated with any changes from the UK government

From 29 March motorcycle riders in England can ride with their mates again as Covid-19 restrictions have been further eased. Along with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, here’s what you need to know…

 

What are the national lockdown rules in England?

For up-to-date advice explaining England’s current rules, click here. Based on the government’s Spring 2021 Covid-19 response, recreation or exercise with your own household, or with one other person will be allowed outdoors.

However, the Stay at Home restriction will continue.

From 29 March, up to six people or two households can meet outdoors, including in private gardens, but still socially distanced, but the government states that we should all ‘minimise travel’ and that there are to be no holidays.

Non-essential retail – including motorcycle dealers – reopened on 12 April, though cafés and restaurants can still only serve outside.

We’ll keep updating this article with any changes as they’re announced and remember not to travel into Wales or Scotland without checking that country’s restrictions.

 

Can I ride my motorcycle for leisure during the new Coronavirus lockdown?

England’s restrictions now say that yes, you can ride your motorcycle for leisure, but do keep in mind the current restrictions anywhere you stop.

 

Can I go for a ride with my mates?

From 29 March, the rule of six was applied and the stay-at-home order was lifted, which means you can ride with up to five friends in England.

However, there’s still no mixing indoors, and common-sense dictates that we’d all be wise to try to avoid the most popular motorcycle meeting places at peak times. While there’s of course no reason not to be near other people, those who haven’t discovered the joys of motorcycling can see a ‘big bunch of bikers’ and imagine it’s an organised meet.

The end is in sight, so let’s all do everything we can to help save lives, and also to show the world what a great, socially distanced form of transport motorcycles and scooters can be.

 

Can I still get an MoT during lockdown?

The England government’s latest paper says that “Businesses providing repair services may stay open, where they primarily offer repair services…” and that “petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses” can also continue to operate.

 

Can I take a driving or riding test or lesson during lockdown?

All motorcycle (and car) training and tests are now back up and running in England. Any

candidates who missed tests due to the lockdown should have been contacted by the DVSA via email to reschedule.

 

Will there be an extension to CBTs if they expire during lockdown?

Despite the fact that many key workers will be commuting on scooters with a CBT, there was no extension on the validity of CBT certificates. Affected riders are being forced to use public transport and should contact their local riding school to discuss a future appointment as spaces will get taken quickly.

 

What are the penalties for breaking the Coronavirus rules?

Fixed penalty notices of £200 can be issued for first offences, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

 

What are the new Covid-19 rules in Scotland?

In Scotland, up to six adults from six households can meet outdoors from 16 April, and Scottish residents will be permitted to travel across Scotland to do so, though there are to be no overnight stays.

From 26 April, travel restrictions in and out of Scotland are expected to end and cafes, pubs and restaurants can open until 8pm indoors, but not serve alcohol. Outdoor drinking will be permitted until 10pm. Up to six people from three households will be able to meet outdoors.
For Scotland’s full rules, click here.

 

What are the new Covid-19 rules in Wales?

Travel restrictions in and out of Wales were lifted on 12 April and shops reopened, but it’s a maximum of six people from two households that can meet outdoors only. However, cafés and restaurants remain closed until 26 April (except for takeaway and delivery), when they’ll be allowed to reopen for outdoor service only.

For Wale’s full rules, click here.

 

What are the new Covid-19 rules in Northern Ireland?

For full details of the latest rules in Northern Ireland, click here. A stay at home order still applies in NI until at least 15 April: “To help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading you should stay in your local area. If you go somewhere and there are crowds which will make social distancing difficult, consider going somewhere else instead.

“Where travel is necessary for work, education and other essential purposes, you are asked to walk, cycle or use private transport, shared only with members of your household where possible.”

Up to 10 people (including children of all ages) from a maximum of two households can meet outdoors, and up to six people from a maximum of two households can meet in non-domestic indoor settings, for a permitted reason.

You should maintain social distancing by being at least two metres apart, as well as good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.

 

Tips for riding a motorcycle in the UK during Coronavirus

  • Do NOT ride if you have any symptoms of Coronavirus
  • You must wear a face mask (or keep your full-face helmet on) when entering the service station to pay for fuel. Steamed-up glasses is not a valid disability that exempts you from wearing a facemask
  • The virus can linger on surfaces, so use the forecourt’s disposable gloves (often now a simple bag) over your bike gloves when handling the pump
  • Pay with contactless; most shops and garages now accept up to £45 for contactless payments, which is typically more than enough to pay for a tank of fuel
  • If you need to spend more, consider setting up Google Pay or Apple Pay on your phone – once unlocked, you can usually spend more this way than with a contactless card
  • Carry a facemask and hand-sanitiser at all times, in case you visit a shop or café
  • Keep two metres from others when off the bike

 

What can we all do to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus?

While confusion seems to creep in for many, the rules are simple common sense in order to limit the potential for deaths due to Coronavirus:

  • Wear a face covering in shops, on public transport (why would you be on there when you have a bike or scooter?!) and anywhere else you’ll be near others (besides home and school)
  • Wash / sanitise your hands
  • Keep your distance from others

 

Have YOU been affected by the Coronavirus restrictions? Let us know by emailing enquiries@bikesocial.co.uk

 

Lockdown survey
956 riders completed a survey asking about their riding behaviour in the 2020 lockdown. Click here for the results.

 

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