Italy, France and Spain ban cycling completely due to Coronavirus Pandemic
The Italian government and Spanish governments have banned cycling outdoors, not even for recreational purposes. Up to €3000 fine for riding without permission!
Professional cyclists living in Girona heading out for training rides were told to return home. Cyclists in other parts of Spain were being advised they will not be allowed to ride during the state of alarm.
If the journey is not for food or medical supplies, riders could face a €3,000 penalty, according to several sources.
About 100 international men and women pros live in Spain, especially around the Girona area, in Catalunya. Several teams also have their service course in the area as well.
El Pais reports that fines begin at €100, but with the possibility of one year in prison should people disobey police and authority figures while they carry out their duties.
The current lockdown in Spain was scheduled to last for 15 days, beginning on 14th March. However, depending on the severity of the outbreak across the country, restrictions could be in place for a greater length of time.
Spanish health authorities are urging cyclists to stay at home not only because of the threat of infection, but rather the risk of putting additional stresses in case of an accident on an already over-burdened healthcare system.
“Stay at home and put the bike aside,” said Carlos Mascias, medical director of a private hospital in Madrid. “Whatever possibility to minimize the impact on the resources of medical services that is not directed toward coronavirus is primordial."
“If any cyclist suffers an incident and needs an ambulance or a bed in intensive care, we are taking it away from people who truly need it, who are now arriving en masse to hospitals,” he continued. “If something happens to you now, maybe you have a chance [to be treated], but you will be taking it away from someone else … but in 48 hours, if something happens to you, the one who is left without [ICU] might be you, those who are now riding your bikes.”
Gorka Izagirre appeals Cycling Ban in Spain
Gorka Izagirre has asked Spanish authorities to clarify whether professionals can train outside after their government banned riding outdoors for two weeks this weekend.
The two-week state of emergency has ordered everyone to stay indoors and those caught riding outside can be stopped by police, fined and even arrested.
Photo above shows two cyclists being stopped by police, fines can range from €500-€3000 for unnecessarily being outside.
In Italy, tPros are allowed to train as normal but have to carry their licence and paperwork in their back pocket.
New York Bike Trips Double as People Avoid the Subway
Meanwhile, cycling has experienced a massive uptake in New York as commuters avoid the subway, instead opting to utilise the Citi Bike bike-share scheme.
The New York Times reports trips over the past week have exceeded half a million, nearly double the number during the same period in 2019.
Bike crossings over the four East River bridges that connect Brooklyn and Queens with Manhattan have also doubled.