The Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) and the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) have called on all EU Member States to allow bicycle repair services to continue throughout the Covid-19 crisis, provided all necessary health precautions are taken.
The organisations believe the use of bicycles and e-Bikes should be encouraged in context of the rapid spread of Covid-19 throughout Europe.
ECF co-CEO Morten Kabell stated: “On bicycles, people keep the required distance for avoiding infections. They are also much less likely to touch potentially contaminated objects in a public space. To minimise the risk of infection, German Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn therefore mentioned cycling to work as one of his recommendations to the population.
“On a more general note, regular physical activity like cycling helps to keep the cardiovascular system and the lungs healthy, preventing diseases and protecting the body from infections. Therefore, it is important that people can continue cycling throughout the crisis and are able to find help in case they need to have their bike repaired.”
In most EU Member States, the continued practice of cycling for necessary trips like going to work or grocery shopping is safeguarded, due to bicycle repair shops being able to continue operations even under strict ‘lockdown’ rules. However in some states, repair shops are not allowed to open even when they could do so in a way that minimises risk of infection.
“Bicycle repair shops provide a basic service to the population and allow for risk-minimising mobility to continue where it is most necessary,” added Manuel Marsilio, General Manager of CONEBI. “Therefore, I deem they would need to stay open during these difficult times, of course in a way that protects the health both of employees and customers.”
And this feeling is replicated in the UK too, with more than 30 public health and transport researchers have signed their name on a letter calling for the UK Government to protect the right of those not showing symptoms of Coronavirus, to walk and cycle safely from risk of infection and traffic injury.