Coronavirus: Advice and guidance for group cycling

Small group rides are now permitted, if run in accordance with the latest guidance. Photo by Peter Cornish
Julie Rand's picture

Coronavirus: Advice and guidance for group cycling

Cycling UK is advising that group riding of up to six people can now go ahead in England, in accordance with latest Government guidance, but it is urging everyone to follow best practice to minimise risk.

Updated Wednesday 29 July 2020

It is important to note that social distancing rules now differ across the four nations of the UK. You should therefore consider the advice within this guide in the context of the social distancing rules that apply in whichever nation in the UK you are cycling in.

In the event that your region, county, city or town has a temporary lockdown due to an increase in local coronavirus cases, we expect groups to cease Cycling UK activity and follow local advice given around staying safe. 

Coronavirus advice 

Cycling UK has updated its advice on cycling in groups following government updates across all four nations of the UK:  

While the general advice remains that people should stay at home where possible during the pandemic, guidance in England now allows for groups of up to six people from different households to ride together, unless any of them have reason to self-isolate, and providing social distancing is maintained. 

Government guidance in Scotland says up to five families (up to a total maximum number of 15 participants) can now go for a ride (socially distanced).

In Wales, how many people you can ride with depends upon whether your group ride is classed as an “organised activity” within regulation 15 of the revised regulations that came into effect on 13 July.

Members of two households can go on a group ride together, provided they maintain social distancing, regardless of whether the ride is an organised activity. If it is an organised activity however, up to 30 people can meet outdoors and take part in a socially distanced group ride, subject to conditions within regulation 15 of the revised regulations. See FAQ for further details.

In Northern Ireland, Cycling UK’s advice is that socially distanced group riding of up to 30 people is permitted, as long as the location means this is appropriate and does not present undue risk.

Where group riding is allowed, cyclists should still observe good hygiene and Cycling UK advises leaving plenty of space when passing others and to avoid pulling in rapidly after overtaking another cyclist and causing them to end up in your slipstream.

Cycling UK's advice remains that it is advisable for people to cycle for their health, fitness and well-being. 

The guidance for avoiding contamination remains unchanged, keeping at least two metres away from anyone else where possible, regularly washing your hands and catching coughs and sneezes in tissues and throwing them away immediately. See further advice on the NHS website. 

Please see our tips for social distance cycling.

We will continue to evaluate the latest advice from Government and update our guidance accordingly. As the threat levels reduce, our guidance is likely to be along these lines but obviously this will depend on factors such as local levels of infection, national guidance and so on:

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 is always our main priority. 

We are closely monitoring the situation and taking advice from the Government, the NHS and partners.  

Advice for Cycling UK groups and volunteers 

Following renewed advice from the Government, Cycling UK is advising cyclists that they can take part in group cycling activity in accordance with their nations' guidance

On 1 June, the new guidance came into effect, making it clear that there is no limit on duration or frequency of exercise, or the distance you can travel to exercise in England.

As a result of this revised guidance, Cycling UK has taken the decision to allow group riding and activities, in accordance with government guidelines in their nations. 

To support the return to group cycling activities, we have created:

  • Coronavirus Guidance for Returning to Group Activities
  • Coronavirus Risk Assessment Checklist
  • Coronavirus Guidance for Cycling UK Volunteers, Staff and Participants

which are all attached below.


Note that in light of the latest Government advice on coronavirus, and guidance on social distancing designed to reduce the risk of spreading infection, group cover provided under the Organiser’s Liability insurance could potentially be invalid if a club or affiliated group decides to go against the advice issued by Cycling UK and arranges large scale events and/or large group rides that exceed the numbers permitted under each nation's guidance.

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 remains our number one priority. 

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

Avoiding contamination

Guidance for avoiding contamination remains the same: 

  • Catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue and throwing them away immediately 
  • Washing hands with soap and water regularly for at least 20 seconds (or using alcohol-based hand sanitiser if you're unable to wash your hands with soap and water) 
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are unwell. 

You can find more advice about avoiding Coronavirus on the NHS website.  

And more information about social distancing on the Government’s website


Following recent guidance released from, ​we ask that all of our volunteers and members stay at home if you have the below symptoms and do not attend Cycling UK activities which may still be happening despite the above stated advice. 

For your information, you are advised to self-isolate for 7 days, regardless of travel history or contact with confirmed cases, if you have any of these symptoms: 

  • a new continuous cough 
  • high temperature (of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher)
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

Do not go to a surgery, pharmacy or hospital. 

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home. 

Fourteen-day isolation is required if you:

  • live in a household with anyone that has symptoms
  • have been contacted by the NHS because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, or
  • have travelled from outside the UK & Ireland 

Read recommended government stay at home advice and NHS coronavirus advice.  

Further updates 

We’ll continue to monitor the situation carefully and will update groups and areas via the website and Velocheer, our volunteer newsletter. If any further action is needed, such as the cancellation of rides and events, we will contact groups and event organisers directly.  

If you have any questions please see our coronavirus FAQ page here or contact the Volunteer Groups Engagement Officer on 01483 238338 or via

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Cycling UK continues to support the UK to cycle
This remains true during this difficult period with the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19