Following on from the recent publication of the ‘Roadmap for reopening society and business’ published by the Irish government, Cycling Ireland have stated that they are looking for clarification in relation to a number of issues including implementing social distancing guidelines on club training rides, races, and leisure sportives, whilst ensuring safety.
The most significant change for cyclists announced recently was that people can travel up to 5 kilometres from their home to exercise which has increased from the 2-kilometre limit previously imposed. During the five forthcoming phases of lifting Covid-19 restrictions, there are a number of changes which will impact on sporting activities.
The roadmap sets out Ireland’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions in five phases:
• 18 May (phase 1)
• 8 June (phase 2)
• 29 June (phase 3)
• 20 July (phase 4)
• 10 August (phase 5)
The statement from Cycling Ireland is as follows:
Cycling Ireland welcomes the ‘Roadmap for reopening society and business’ published by the government on Friday, May 1st. We are pleased cycling remains both a priority sport and means of transportation for government and health officials. We feel strongly that cycling will play an important role in Ireland’s recovery – positively impacting people’s physical and mental health and providing a safe, socially distanced, and environmentally friendly means of recreation and transportation.
The phased easing of travel restrictions for exercise, which is set at 5-kilometers until June 8th at the earliest, is a welcome development for leisure and racing cyclists, albeit the limitation will continue to curtail training and leisure cycling to a large extent.
Cycling Ireland will seek clarifications to several issues which have arisen during internal discussions on the phased return of activities. In particular, these relate to implementing social distancing guidelines on club training rides, races, and leisure sportives, while ensuring cyclists remain safe on the roads.
With consideration given to the ‘roadmap for reopening society and business’ and the need to give athletes adequate time to prepare for competition, all National Championship events up to July 20th will not be able to take place as planned.
We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and look to provide further guidance to clubs, members, and event organisers as soon as possible. We envisage this may include tailored guidance for different disciplines based on the feasibility of adhering to government guidelines and social distancing requirements.
In the meantime, we respectfully ask that until further notice, members of the cycling community ride solo or with members of their household and adhere to the limit of 5km from home for those within the Republic of Ireland. Within Northern Ireland, restrictions remain unchanged with cyclists permitted to exercise outdoors once per day.
Cyclists at all levels may also wish to participate in Cycling Ireland’s Zwift League, Women’s Only League, Sprint events, or one of the many training sessions held on the virtual cycling platform. Cycling Ireland has also launched virtual rides through the AXA Community Bike Rides programme and developed Learn to Cycle resources for parents teaching a child this vital life skill.