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

As of 8 March 2021, England begins its release from coronavirus lockdown, but there’s still a long way to go until things are back to normal…

 

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.

Further lifting of restrictions is expected no sooner than 12 April, and we expect more clarity on the above on 8 March when the current rules are fully updated

 

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

If you’re volunteering to help others or for charitable purposes, you can use your motorcycle as you would any other form of transport. It’s a socially-distanced way to travel, and also remains a very good method of transport for those who still need to get to work.

From 8 March the government says that ‘recreation or exercise outdoors with [your own] household or one other person’ will be permitted in England, though with no household mixing indoors. However, the guidelines also state that ‘from 8 March, the Stay at Home restriction will continue but it will be amended so that people can leave home for recreation as well as exercise outdoors - with their own household, support or childcare bubble, or with one person from another household. Social distancing and other safe behaviours should be followed.’

As the stay at home guidance is still in place until March 29, and until then you shouldn’t leave your local area. If you were to leave the house to go for recreation locally then the vehicle you choose to travel locally is irrelevant. It could be a car or a motorbike or a van but the key word is local.

 

Can I go for a ride with my mates?

From 29 March, the rule of six will apply and the stay at home order is expected to be lifted, which should mean you can ride with up to five friends in England.

However, there will still be 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?

Currently all driving and riding tests have been suspended. Affected candidates or the school that booked the test will be emailed to reschedule.

All driving and riding lessons – including CBTs – will also not be allowed to take place until the restrictions have been lifted. This includes ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) part 2 and 3 tests, and standard checks.

“In its roadmap the Government set out that driving tests and theory tests in England will restart (as part of step 2) no earlier than 12 April 2021,” a representative of the DVSA told us.

“DVSA is working closely with the government and will provide more information as soon as we are able to do so on motorcycle, vocational and other tests, lessons and training.The DVSA told us that “DVSA is working closely with the government and will provide more information as soon as we are able to do so on other tests, lessons and training.”

 

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?

From midnight on 4 Jan, Scots will be ordered to stay at home, with meetings of up to just one person outside. The rules are broadly similar to those applied to England, though there’s no limit to the number of times you can exercise outside, and while construction and manufacturing remain open in both countries, most other services and stores will be closed. A road map is being announced shortly, but for Scotland’s full rules, click here.

 

What are the new Covid-19 rules in Wales

Wales has been under ‘stay at home’ restrictions since 20 December, and while schools were expected to return, this has now been cancelled. For more on the Wales Coronavirus lockdown as information is released, click here.

 

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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