The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us in varying degrees with many experiencing social isolation and deteriorations in their general well-being. The resumption of cycling activities can significantly contribute to the re-establishment of normality in Singapore society.
Collectively, the cycling community must play a role to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The safe reintroduction of cycling activities requires thorough planning and safe implementation and would be reintroduced in a cautious and methodical manner, based on the best available resources to optimize community safety.
Preparation for cycling activities
Prior to the resumption of cycling activities, the SCF would first conduct a thorough risk assessment and preparation will be specific for the community at large. Guidance from local bodies of authority including the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Sport Singapore would also be taken.
The SCF will, as much as possible, endeavor to actively educate the cycling community about COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies – this will include the sharing of Advisories and educational resources from Government agencies like the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Sport Singapore. Education will help to promote and set expectations for the required behaviors prior to recommencing activities. This will include,
- Established norms associated with sharing drink bottles and towels, hugging and shaking hands contradict the rationale behind the current need to observe social distancing and is, as such, discouraged.
- The need to maintain personal hygiene for e.g. thorough handwashing before and after cycling activities, covering of the mouth and nose with a tissue when there is an urge to cough or sneeze.
- The need for an appropriate cleaning protocol, in between cycling sessions, if there is a sharing of personal equipment including your bicycle.
- The need for self-monitoring of respiratory symptoms (even if mild) and to seek medical attention promptly if you are feeling unwell. In an environment of community transmission of COVID-19, any individual with respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, fever or shortness of breath), even if mild, should be considered a possible case of COVID-19.
- The need to defer a return to cycling if in the last 14 days if you have been unwell or had close contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19. Do so only after you have been cleared to do so by a Doctor, given the potential for worsening illness.
- It should also be considered that anyone returning to cycling after a period of social isolation and not exercising regularly may be at an increased risk of injury. You should apply a graded return to mitigate injury risk, understanding that a sudden increase in training load will predispose you to a higher risk of injury.
- Vulnerable groups with medical conditions may be at increased risk and will need individualized management in consultation with their regular treating doctor(s) prior to return to cycling.
Guidelines – Return to Cycling
Phase 2 from 19 June 2020
- You are allowed to cycle in a group of up to 5 persons– to aid in Contact Tracing.
- If you are cycling alone, keep at least 3m from another cyclist and avoid his/her slipstream. If cycling in a Group, the Group should keep at least 3m apart from another Group. With increasing speeds, please increase the safe distance between Groups to avoid their slipstream.
- There should not be mixing between Groups and do not merge with other Groups during or after your ride and at rest areas, e.g. at a Café/hawker centre/drink stops.
- Group of 5 riders to maintain a distance of 1m apart during rest stops.
- Maintain a safe distance of 3m between Groups at Traffic Lights.
- Preferably ride in areas of low human and traffic density.
(there is NO restrictions on having to only ride in your immediate neighbourhood)
- Follow all Traffic rules as applied to cyclist on the roads and paths.
- NO Mask required while riding.
(but please put it on after completing your riding activity)
- If you are not feeling well (cough, temp, flu symptoms, etc.), you should not go out in public and ride.
References and Acknowledgements
The SCF’s Safe Return to Sports Plan was developed by making reference to the following advisories and guidelines:
- Ministry of Manpower – “Requirements for Safe Management Measures at the workplace” https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/requirements-for-safe-management-measures
- Singapore Sports Council “Sports Safety Management Plan”
- Ministry of Trade and Industry – “19 MAY 2020 – Advisory on Gradual resumption of business activities in phases starting from 2 June 2020”
- FAQs – Viral Pneumonia due to COVID-19
- Summary of Precautionary Measures for Seniors (Annex B)
- MTI and MOM – “7 Key requirements for safe management at work places”
- Sport Singapore – “ 24 May 2020 – Advisory on gradual resumption of sport and physical exercise, activity after circuit breaker (2 June onwards)
- Sport Singapore – FAQs For Advisory On Gradual Resumption To Sports And Physical Exercise / Activity After Circuit Breaker (2 June Onwards) (as of 24 May 20)
- Sport Singapore – “Phase 2 – Safe return to Sport Plan” Guidelines for NSAs
The Singapore Cycling Federation would like to acknowledge and thank the organisations listed above.