Coronavirus: updated guidance for individual cyclists and cycling groups

Coronavirus rules are still in place throughout the UK and are being regularly updated. Photo: Peter Cornish

Coronavirus: updated guidance for individual cyclists and cycling groups

Coronavirus rules and restrictions vary across the UK and may change at any time. Here is the latest guidance for individual cyclists and cycling groups

***This is a live document and was last updated on Thursday 20 January 2022. Note that it is not possible to cover every local variation across the country, and you should always follow local restrictions where these are imposed.

Statement from Cycling UK

As the national cycling charity, our aim is to support the UK’s population to cycle. This remains true during this period of coronavirus affecting the UK. Above all, the safety and welfare of Cycling UK’s staff, volunteers, participants at our rides and events, beneficiaries of our cycling programmes and the general public are always our main priority. 

As the virus and its variants, including Omicron, are still very much in circulation so Cycling UK encourages people to cycle but to do so in a manner which minimises the risk to themselves and others from it. Cyclists should use their common sense: for example, by keeping an eye on government guidance for their nation and Cycling UK's own guidance, maintaining good hygiene practices, and not cycling with others if feeling unwell or told to self-isolate. They should also consider taking regular lateral flow tests, in accordance with their nation's guidance.


England has now moved away from Plan B and government guidance will be updated soon to reflect the changes as applicable to grassroots sports participants, providers and facility operators

From Thursday 27 January:

  • there is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering. People are still advised to wear one in crowded and indoor spaces where they may come into contact with people they do not normally meet.
  • venues and events are no longer required by law to check visitors’ NHS COVID Pass. They can still choose to use the NHS COVID Pass on a voluntary basis.

See also Sport England's FAQs for more information. 

Cycling UK advises groups in England to appoint a Covid officer, especially if organising events. Covid officers and event organisers should be aware of specific Covid-19 guidance for events and attractions.

Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Executive has issued specific guidance for outdoor activity organisers and organisers of indoor gatherings. Further guidance can be obtained from Sport Northern Ireland. Undertaking a risk assessment is a requirement in Northern Ireland for outdoor gatherings of more than 30 people.

There were further rule changes imposed from 6am on Sunday 26 December and 6am on Monday 27 December affecting hospitality, social contact and indoor and outdoor events and gatherings. Some of these rules change from Wednesday 26 January.

Cycling UK recommends groups in Northern Ireland to appoint a Covid officer, especially if organising events for more than 30 people outdoors.

Be aware that if you cross the border into Ireland, there may be different rules in place.


There is a lifting of some current Omicron measures from Monday 24 January 2022:

  • one metre physical distancing in hospitality and leisure settings, and table service in hospitality venues will no longer be required
  • the guidance to keep social interaction at home and in indoor public places to a maximum of three households is also being lifted but, given case numbers remain high, the public are being asked to be cautious and to limit contacts where possible, in addition to taking lateral flow tests before meeting people from other households
  • further baseline measures, including a requirement to collect customer details in hospitality settings, the use of face coverings in public places and on public transport, in addition to the current Covid certification scheme, will remain in place to limit the spread of Omicron and reduce pressure on essential services.

Specific guidance for cycling activity organisers can be accessed via sportScotland. Cycling groups must still appoint a Covid officer (or coronavirus co-ordinator), who should undertake appropriate coronavirus training.

Scotland's government has issued guidance on protecting yourself and others.


Wales is currently at Alert Level 2. The Welsh government has recently updated its guidance.

From Saturday 15 January, up to 500 people can be present at outdoor events. This does not include those participating in a team sport event, meaning 500 spectators can be present.

From Friday 21 January, there are no longer be any legal limits on the number of people that can meet outdoors but a COVID Pass will be needed for large outdoor events

From Friday 28 January, in hospitality, there are no restrictions on meeting people and no requirement for table service or two-metre physical distancing

There is specific guidance for employers, businesses and organisations, including activity and events organisers. Undertaking a risk assessment is still a requirement in Wales for outdoor gatherings of more than 30 people. Organised events and gatherings must not take place for more than 30 people indoors.

Cycling UK recommends groups in Wales to appoint a Covid officer, especially if organising events outdoors for more than 30 people.

Events and gatherings

In addition to the above, we recommend event organisers also follow these guidelines:

  • clearly communicate ahead of the event that participants and spectators should not attend if they, or anyone they live with, have been asked to self-isolate, or are required to self-isolate after travel, or because they are displaying any coronavirus symptoms, and should follow their nation's guidance on testing and self-isolation
  • pre-event briefings should take place virtually where possible and should take into account the needs of those who have hearing or visual impairments, or who do not have English as their first language
  • consider allocating a Covid officer to carry out a coronavirus risk assessment prior to the event and mitigate any hazards - appointing a Covid officer to carry out coronavirus risk assessments is strongly recommended by Cycling UK in all nations 
  • note that a Covid officer is still a requirement in Scotland for all groups 
  • Covid officers are advised by Cycling UK for groups in England and recommended in Wales and Northern Ireland, especially if organising events for more than 30 outdoors
  • in Wales and Northern Ireland, a coronavirus risk assessment is a requirement for outdoor gatherings of more than 30 people
  • event organisers in Wales should also undertake potential reasonable measures as outlined in the Welsh government's Events action card for alert level 2
  • consider putting in place crowd management measures if the event involves large numbers of attendees
  • consider displaying a QR code to assist with tracking and tracing
  • continue to limit the amount that equipment that is shared
  • provide hygiene measures in the form of hand sanitisers, wipes and so on to ensure any shared equipment is thoroughly cleaned
  • reinforce messaging around hygiene and social distancing by displaying clear signage, such as the 'Staying safe' poster in the event organiser's and Covid officer's toolkits.

If anybody attending an event or activity reports symptoms, they should be directed to the relevant authorities in your nation. Note that it is not the responsibility of the club to inform members if someone has tested positive for coronavirus. This will be done by the NHS and an individual’s right to privacy must be observed. However, the group or club will be expected to be able to pass on contact details of all participants should they be asked to.


Cover provided by Cycling UK under the organiser’s liability insurance could potentially be invalid if a member or affiliated group decides to go against the advice issued by Cycling UK, or their national government, and arranges group rides and events that exceed the numbers permitted or do not have in place mitigations against the transmission of coronavirus where required.

For individual cyclists, the third-party liability insurance included within membership will protect a member of the public against the risk of a cycling-related incident involving an insured member. 

The safety and wellbeing of Cycling UK’s staff, volunteers, riders, beneficiaries of our cycling programmes and the general public remain our number one priority. 

Cycling UK will continue to monitor the situation and will be taking advice from the government, the health sector and our partners. 

Avoiding contamination

The NHS has guidance for avoiding transmitting or catching coronavirus.

    Further queries

    Please see contact the Volunteering Team or Cycling UK's Groups Engagement Officer on 01483 238338.

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    This remains true during this difficult period with the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19