Covid 19 Advice

How it affects Staffordshire Biker

As you can imagine, this is a difficult time to hold or host events so we will do our best to keep you informed of what is on or what is off across the county with regards our initiatives & courses.

We are monitoring the situation closely with regards venues for the Bikers’ breakfast events,  Young rider barbecues, First Aid for bikers courses etc along with numerous biker awareness events across the county as some of the venues themselves may remain closed, thus rendering them unavailable.  As soon as any decision is made we will notify people via social media & this website.

The official advice is to continue to stay home and stay safe, so please protect our communities and our NHS #StayHomeSaveLives

 

Self Isolating & social distancing – General advice

Please be aware that as motorcyclists we are fairly well self isolated as motorcycle riding is often a solo pursuit, so if you commute on your bike you shouldn’t be at risk until you get to work, where regular social distancing rules come into play.

The latest guidelines also allow people to meet others outdoors provided that they practise social distancing. This was increased to five from 1 June, meaning you can now ride in small groups. From 4 July, if two households meet, there’s no limit on the number of people present, making life easier for families or groups of housemates who want to ride together.
From 4 July, holiday accommodation can reopen and you can also stay with another household overnight. But check before planning a trip.

There are some variations in rules across the UK.

  • England
    Bikers in England may also now pretty much travel as far as they like for exercise purposes or to make use of outdoor recreation.  Social distancing measures remain.
  • Scotland
    In Scotland, you’re now allowed to travel for recreation, with the previous five-mile limit being lifted from 3 July. You can meet with two other households outdoors each day, up to a maximum of eight people, as long as you stay social distanced.
  • Wales
    Any number of people from two different households can now gather outdoors, for as long as wanted. From Monday 6 July, you’ll also be allowed to stay together indoors. Travel restrictions will start allowing people from other parts of the UK to enter the country and visit outdoor attractions.
  • Northern Ireland
    Groups of up to six people who don’t share a home can now meet outdoors (or indoors) as long as they stay at least 1m apart.

At the beginning of the lockdown, the emergency services advised people not to take any risks, to avoid placing unnecessary strain on the NHS at a time when they were desperately trying to free up hospital beds and equipment to treat patients with COVID-19, with this in mind, continue to stay as safe as possible & don’t take any unnecessary risk.

It should go without saying that if you start exhibiting any flu-like symptoms – such as a dry cough and high temperature – it’s essential that you avoid the temptation to leave the house for exercise and instead self-isolate at home.

The arrival of Covid-19 caused the immediate cancellations of events & concerns about some of the biggest events on the calendar for the remainder of the year.  As always, it’s best to check with the organisations who put the events on to see what the situation is regarding shows, rallies, motorcycle sporting events & festivals.  Don’t just ride to events expecting the events to still be on.

Motorcycle training & tests
Motorcycle tests & training have already been affected with many local driving schools telling us they suspended training & CBT testing for at least 4 weeks.  The DVSA will no doubt contact you should you already have a ministry test (ie not a proficiency test, assessment or CBT from a local training school) booked during this period.  Theory tests were suspended for one month, and driving tests are suspended for up to 3 months – but tests are available for critical workers.
Email the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to request information by emailing customerservices@dvsa.gov.uk  You will need to include your full name and the following pieces of information:, your driving licence number, your theory test pass certificate number your driving test booking reference in any communication.

MOT testing
Check also when your MOT is due (you can check by visiting – https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-status) as some test centres may already be closed or closing in the next few days & if it is you are riding without an MOT you can still be breaking the law, in addition if your bike is parked without an MOT on a public highway you are breaking the law if the bike is not MOT’d.  You should be allowed some grace of one month to get tested, so if you MOT is due next month you may be able to get your MOT today & effectively get 13 months of MOT cover.   Your  MOT expiry date will be extended by 6 months if it’s due on or after 30 March 2020 – but you must keep your vehicle safe to drive & get it tested at the earliest opportunity.

Breakdown services & how not to get caught out.
A lot of people have expressed concerns about if they break down on the road, but rest assured all the breakdown companies i’ve seen so far have said they will still provide services to get you home.  Make sure your bikes battery is in good working order as many bikes will be coming out of winter hibernation at this time of year, so give your battery a charge if needed & ensure it is still holding a charge as many failures in springtime are often due to charging issues.  Double check with your breakdown company directly if you have any concerns or questions.

Petrol station cross contamination
When refuelling the bike (or car for that matter) if you can, pop over to the diesel pump & see if you can find some disposable gloves to wear, a few people have expressed concerns about catching the virus from petrol pumps, so wear gloves & dispose of the gloves safely.  If you can pay by contactless on a pre-pay pump then this may be the best method as you may be at risk by using the keypad to enter your PIN & in addition, by not going to the kiosk to pay you are reducing the risk further of coming into contact with others & maintaining social distancing.
If you need to use a numerical keypad because you don’t have a contactless debit card, a top tip is to carry some cotton buds with you in your pocket & use the tips to key in your PIN & then dispose of the cotton bud safely in the nearest available bin.  If you have a ball point pen, you can also use this as a pointer to key in a number but remember to sanitise the pen.
Wash your hands at the earliest opportunity.

Financial support with loans
Financially these are worrying times as many are being told to stay home & not go to work, so if your bike is on a HP scheme or you are paying off a loan, it may be best to contact your financial service who loaned you the money as many will already have plans in place for supporting you which they can use to help & many credit agencies are already publishing guidelines that your credit rating shouldn’t be under threat in this situation.  Many companies will welcome your call, so don’t be frightened to get in touch to make arrangements & it’s often better to call them & tell them you can’t pay than just ignore them completely.  If you find your credit company are being less than helpful, then Citizens advice will guide you as will the money advice service.

General advice & community help
If you have concerns about the virus itself & how to protect yourselves, you can find information by clicking here.

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Coronavirus/Home.aspx

https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Newsroom/Articles/2020/03-March/Doing-our-bit-to-tackle-coronavirus-in-Staffordshire-and-Stoke-on-Trent.aspx

If you wish to help others in your community
consider
https://www.supportstaffordshire.org.uk/covid-19-support/coronavirus-community-support-effort

https://www.england.nhs.uk/participation/get-involved/volunteering/nhs-volunteer-responders/

Restrictions and the government travel instruction is to ‘stay at home’ and not make any unnecessary journey by road or public transport unless for food, health reasons or essential work on All travel networks around the United Kingdom.
People should not gather in groups and remain at their primary residence not travelling to holiday or second homes or to ‘day trip’ locations.
Source: Inrix Media.

Post updated: 15/07/2020

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