The Prime Minister has announced the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England. This is the ACU’s official take on a return to riding:
In a statement to parliament yesterday (Monday 22nd February) the PM paid tribute to the extraordinary success of the UK’s vaccination programme and the resolve of the British public in following the lockdown restrictions, which has helped to cut infection rates and reduce the spread of the virus.
The roadmap outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before proceeding to the next step, the Prime Minister was clear that the decision on each stage will be based on data, not dates and government will move cautiously to keep infection rates under control.
This assessment will be based on four tests:
· The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
· Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
· Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
· The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
So, for motorcycle sport; from 29th March formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s – can also restart and will not be subject to the gatherings limits but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies. Events will be restricted to one day events only. Self-contained accommodation will not be permitted until at least 12th April which is Step 2 of the Roadmap. Domestic overnight stays in hotels etc will not be permitted until at least 17th May. No spectators at sporting events to be allowed until after 17th May.
Clubs should now apply to ACU Head Office for permits to run organised events from 1st April. Organisers are reminded that a Covid-19 risk assessment should accompany the Permit Application and supplementary regulations and are reminded of the requirement to consult with their Local Authorities and local police force. Updated risk assessments for guidance will be disseminated shortly by ACU Head Office to all Centres and Clubs.
Chairman Roy Humphrey commented, ‘I think we were all aware of the main points the Prime Minister was going to announce given the media coverage and speculation over the weekend. It is really pleasing that organised outdoor sports can commence from 29th March, albeit without spectators until 17th May. We are not out of the woods by a long way and I ask that everyone continues to abide by the UK Government advice and guidance. With the outstanding commitment and work of the NHS and everyone who has volunteered to assist with the vaccine programme, there is light at the end of the tunnel’.
It should also be noted that the roadmap outlined above is specific to England. Wales and Scotland should follow the advice issued by their devolved governments which is expected in the coming days. The Isle of Man and other crown dependencies should follow the advice issued by their local administrations.
Further updates will be distributed in accordance with UK Government Advice/Guidance.