COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
stevemelia
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COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby stevemelia » 6 Jan 2021, 10:36am

(Note: there is already a general discussion thread about the lockdown - stupidity of politicians etc. in the Tea Room. This topic is more specific)

As the current government guidance is written, it would effectively prevent cycling for exercise. I don't know what will go in the legislation and what will remain just guidance. There were substantial differences during the first lockdown. It would be helpful to have some more specific advice from Cycling UK on this.

The latest government guidance for the new lockdown says:

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

"- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area. [and further down...]
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."

If we were to interpret that literally, it would prevent cycling for exercise. Can you imagine someone cycling round and round the village where they live in order to get enough exercise once a day?

I live in a city centre - exercising here will bring me into close contact with many other people. But I can leave the city on a cycle path and ride on quiet lanes, which is what I have been doing throughout the lockdowns.

How are people interpreting these rules?

Brucey
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby Brucey » 6 Jan 2021, 10:41am

I guess it all depends on your definition of 'local'. If it is as local as the nearest food shop that'd be close for most people, but if it is as local as your local hospital it might be tens of miles away.

Inevitably I can't help thinking of....

Image

you wouldn't want to catch that, now would you....?

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Psamathe
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby Psamathe » 6 Jan 2021, 11:05am

I'm no expert but had always understood that courts apply the concept of "reasonable" and thus I'd expect Police and public to do the same. Personal circumstances vary widely and thus what is reasonable will also widely vary so hard guidance.

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mjr
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby mjr » 6 Jan 2021, 11:54am

I expect to be flamed for this but our group's "local" rides (as against "challenge" or "train-assisted" ones) had a range of about 45 miles, so I see nothing wrong with doing that same sort of range, as long as you stay apart from others. As discussed in another topic, the motto really should be "stay apart" not "stay at home" because some fools are interpreting that as OK to go into each other's homes.

It cannot be helpful, or the intention of government, for people to become less fit than usual during a health crisis. Even so, I am struggling to stay motivated with only unregulated outdoor things to visit during this cold winter and I expect my mileage and time will be less than 2019 again.

I am slightly torn because I want to support the great takeaways staying open but I don't think it is responsible to go indoors near the edge of my range, so I am taking a flask and a picnic more now and using them unless the takeaway is a hatch where I can stay in the open air.

The actual law has been published at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/202 ... ion/3/made and contrary to the announcement, it is not a full lockdown order and it simply moves all of England into an amended Tier 4, which is pretty much identical in effect. There is no change to the legal limits on exercise from the previous Tier 4 (schedule 3A paragraph 2(2)(c) in what is being amended) and therefore the "local" wording quoted in the first post above remains advice only.
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Psamathe
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby Psamathe » 6 Jan 2021, 11:58am

mjr wrote:....
The actual law has been published at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/202 ... ion/3/made and contrary to the announcement, it is not a full lockdown order and it simply moves all of England into an amended Tier 4, which is pretty much identical in effect. There is no change to the legal limits on exercise from the previous Tier 4 (schedule 3A paragraph 2(2)(c) in what is being amended) and therefore the "local" wording remains advice only.

I would agree. Looking at the details I'm surprised some things that are still permitted that were not allowed under the spring lockdown - seems a bit daft to me given the situation in our hospitals, etc.

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mjr
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby mjr » 6 Jan 2021, 12:04pm

Psamathe wrote:I would agree. Looking at the details I'm surprised some things that are still permitted that were not allowed under the spring lockdown - seems a bit daft to me given the situation in our hospitals, etc.

Such as? The main difference I've noticed has been the other way: I cannot now buy a take-home carton of draught beer over the threshold of a pub, which I did in the last lockdown. Bottled beer only, as I don't drink enough to finish a delivered polypin or mini keg. Seems bizarre of gov.uk to encourage bingeier drinking just now.

Local anglers are livid that they cannot legally go sit alone by the water even locally and that one has baffled me too.
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Psamathe
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby Psamathe » 6 Jan 2021, 12:12pm

mjr wrote:
Psamathe wrote:I would agree. Looking at the details I'm surprised some things that are still permitted that were not allowed under the spring lockdown - seems a bit daft to me given the situation in our hospitals, etc.

Such as? The main difference I've noticed has been the other way: I cannot now buy a take-home carton of draught beer over the threshold of a pub, which I did in the last lockdown. Bottled beer only, as I don't drink enough to finish a delivered polypin or mini keg. Seems bizarre of gov.uk to encourage bingeier drinking just now.

Local anglers are livid that they cannot legally go sit alone by the water even locally and that one has baffled me too.

e.g. Religious services still allowed e.g. you can meet somebody else outside (from a different household) whereas spring lockdown you had to exercise alone (I thought - I didn't pay much attention as that aspect didn't affect me).

The beer thing seems weird as I can't see how drinking at home with people you are around all day anyway is going to affect the disease spread.

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mjr
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby mjr » 6 Jan 2021, 1:41pm

Psamathe wrote:e.g. Religious services still allowed e.g. you can meet somebody else outside (from a different household) whereas spring lockdown you had to exercise alone (I thought - I didn't pay much attention as that aspect didn't affect me).

Yes, both correct as far as I recall. The "communal worship" gatherings permission seems a bit unjust when non-religious belief groups cannot meet (as I understand it), or am I wrong and the likes of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists are allowed to meet by this?

Psamathe wrote:The beer thing seems weird as I can't see how drinking at home with people you are around all day anyway is going to affect the disease spread.

I think it has been banned due to a few dodgy pubs encouraging communal worship of beer drinking in their car parks and gardens, which has been reported in the media. Rather than get marshals or police or whoever to break it up and fine/arrest people, or attempt to sanction the licensees for keeping a disorderly house (or whatever that term is), they've just banned it completely and hurt many times more pub businesses.
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mattheus
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby mattheus » 6 Jan 2021, 2:28pm

mjr wrote:
Psamathe wrote:e.g. Religious services still allowed e.g. you can meet somebody else outside (from a different household) whereas spring lockdown you had to exercise alone (I thought - I didn't pay much attention as that aspect didn't affect me).

Yes, both correct as far as I recall. The "communal worship" gatherings permission seems a bit unjust when non-religious belief groups cannot meet (as I understand it), or am I wrong and the likes of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists are allowed to meet by this?

Psamathe wrote:The beer thing seems weird as I can't see how drinking at home with people you are around all day anyway is going to affect the disease spread.

I think it has been banned due to a few dodgy pubs encouraging communal worship of beer drinking in their car parks and gardens, which has been reported in the media. Rather than get marshals or police or whoever to break it up and fine/arrest people, or attempt to sanction the licensees for keeping a disorderly house (or whatever that term is), they've just banned it completely and hurt many times more pub businesses.


Perhaps if the beer drinkers had behaved a bit better in the car-parks than the god-botherers, the rules might now be the other way around?

;-)

thirdcrank
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Jan 2021, 2:36pm

Back to the OP

If you want something from Cycling UK, this is not a point of contact: you need the Cycling UK www

If I've understood your concerns correctly, then I share them. If you go out for a bike ride you usually want to enjoy it and few riders go out looking for hassle; indeed concern about being hassled over something like this might keep many at home.

IMO a big issue here is enforcement by fixed penalties of a mish-mash of regulations and advice of uncertain status. (Comparisons are drawn with the advice in the Highway Code but that has a statutory basis.) AIUI, enforcement powers have been extended to PCSOs which I take to mean the authorities want more enforcement. Think of the problems there have been with cycling on "footpaths."

Contesting a ticket would surely be prolonged. The system depends on most people stumping up rather than insisting on a court hearing. I fancy that faced with a contested ticket issued purely for ignoring government advice, the CPS would drop it, but that would be a long way down the line. A court case would be more than most would want, even if they were confident of being cleared eventually.

It's also worth bearing in mind that for somebody who would struggle to ride a bike to the end of the street, cycling any distance is incomprehensible.

rmurphy195
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby rmurphy195 » 6 Jan 2021, 3:42pm

stevemelia wrote:(Note: there is already a general discussion thread about the lockdown - stupidity of politicians etc. in the Tea Room. This topic is more specific)

As the current government guidance is written, it would effectively prevent cycling for exercise. I don't know what will go in the legislation and what will remain just guidance. There were substantial differences during the first lockdown. It would be helpful to have some more specific advice from Cycling UK on this.

The latest government guidance for the new lockdown says:

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

"- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area. [and further down...]
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."

If we were to interpret that literally, it would prevent cycling for exercise. Can you imagine someone cycling round and round the village where they live in order to get enough exercise once a day?

I live in a city centre - exercising here will bring me into close contact with many other people. But I can leave the city on a cycle path and ride on quiet lanes, which is what I have been doing throughout the lockdowns.

How are people interpreting these rules?


"If we were to interpret that literally, it would prevent cycling for exercise." - Nonsense

"Can you imagine someone cycling round and round the village where they live in order to get enough exercise once a day?" - Yes, I did in the last lockdown, and will again, and to local shops etc.
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mjr
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby mjr » 6 Jan 2021, 3:58pm

mattheus wrote:Perhaps if the beer drinkers had behaved a bit better in the car-parks than the god-botherers, the rules might now be the other way around?

;-)

Possibly, but banning an activity completely due to the illegal acts of a tiny minority, and cherry-picking which activities it is done to, is an ugly precedent with an obvious danger for cycling.
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TrevA
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby TrevA » 6 Jan 2021, 4:00pm

It depends on how big your village is. If it’s only a few houses, then you are stymied. I live in a large village/small town, it’s about 3 miles from one end to the other. So a small circuit round the village is feasible if a little boring. I’ve just taken the dog for a walk and spotted a bloke on a road bike riding up and down the hill on one side of the village. He’s obviously taking the guidance literally.
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simonhill
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby simonhill » 6 Jan 2021, 4:11pm

Was anyone fined for 'going too far' under the previous iterations of restrictions/tiers/lockdowns? I think not, but could be wrong. Personally, I wouldn't worry.

The whole concept of exercise is a bit difficult to define. As said, some think cycling a mile is enough, some 50 is not far enough. If a court were asked to define it 'in normal parlance' then I do think 100 miles would fall out of the regular exercise category and into something more extreme - maybe training? The only guidelines I can think of are the NHS type daily recommended amount of exercise, which fall woefully short of what most of us do.

I think you are far more likely to be pulled for breaking the other rules - number, association, etc, so don't do that and as I said, I wouldn't worry.

A footnote: Give me some weather when I actually want to cycle more than a few miles, please.

mattheus
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Re: COVID Lockdown - Guidance versus the Law

Postby mattheus » 6 Jan 2021, 4:17pm

simonhill wrote:Was anyone fined for 'going too far' under the previous iterations of restrictions/tiers/lockdowns? I think not, but could be wrong.

NO - THEY WERE NOT!!!

This is why it's even more important that we publicly SHAME such people online. Official law enforcement has let us down!

CORONA-SHAMING - you KNOW it makes sense. For the COMMON GOOD!!!