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British Cycling asks UK Health Secretary to recommend cycling as part of government advice on social distancing

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British Cycling Chief Executive, Julie Harrington, has written to UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock to encourage the UK Government to add cycling to its recommended activities during the current coronavirus outbreak.

The current government advice on social distancing states that individuals can ‘walk outdoors if you stay more than 2 metres from others’, but does not yet reference cycling. Writing to the Health Secretary, Julie Harrington said:

‘As an organisation we are absolutely supportive of the government’s advice to stop all unnecessary journeys and remain at home in a state of semi-isolation, and we understand this situation may continue for some time.

‘While I am glad to see the government recommend walking as a way to stay active and alleviate some of the issues related to prolonged isolation, I believe it is in all our interests to extend this advice to also include cycling.

‘Riding bicycles offers us a unique solution to several of the key challenges facing us. It is a safe form of local transport and gentle recreation, keeping us the required distance from others, while at the same time strengthening our immune systems and bolstering our mental health.

‘All of this helps reduce the strain on our NHS and may make people feel more comfortable about spending prolonged periods at home.’

Continuing, Harrington said:

‘This approach is being followed elsewhere, where we have in some cases seen governments advise their citizens to cycle more. Indeed, Germany’s Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn this week appealed for people to walk or cycle rather than use public transport.’

British Cycling has also produced an online Q&A on cycling during the pandemic, which can be found online.

www.britishcycling.org.uk

 

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