Policy on Organised Rides and Gatherings during current (May 2020) COVID 19 Restrictions
The Melbourne Branch Committee have considered the issues surrounding the easing of coronavirus containment restrictions and wish to advise members of our current (May 2020) policy and our reasoning behind this policy:
The essence of the current restrictions in Victoria is that we are advised to stay home unless one of 5 reasons to be out is relevant. One of those 5 reasons is "Exercise and outdoor recreation", and local travel on motorcycles is specifically included in this category. This freedom does come with a cautionary note as highlighted:
This is from the DHHS website:
Can I go for a drive or a motorbike ride as a recreational activity?
Under the new directions, you are able to go for a drive. Practice driving is now permitted, as well as attending driving lessons. Victorians are being asked to use common sense when it comes to travelling. If you can walk or exercise near your home, you should.
The key message in this is that we are able to get out and ride, but before we do we need to consider whether we really need to and also consider the risks involved for ourselves and others.
To support this philosophy, Melbourne Branch Committee have resolved to:
1. Support and facilitate restricted numbers rides on an ad-hoc basis, with compliance on trip distance (day trips only) and rider numbers.
2. Not to use our website to calendarise rides in advance. The philosophy behind this specific aspect is to try to reinforce the governments "only if you have to" message by not returning to our normal practices. It is our hope that by having members do something other than what they're used to might be the point at which they consider the risks involved and how they might manage those risks. Facebook will be used to arrange any rides, and only a week or two in advance.
3. That the Facebook notifications include clear reminders that compliance with social distancing is required.
4. That anyone leading such a ride be clearly told that they should actively manage the rider numbers. Whether that is to take phone/text "registrations" or use the "whichever first" ride departure (10 riders or 10am) or some equivalent method of participant number management.
5. That splitting rides into two groups of less than 10 to a common destination is an inadequate and ineffective avoidance of the restrictions.
6. That Mike continue to coordinate these rides in a loose fashion by being the point of first contact for anyone wishing to organise one, and by contacting the ride leaders on the calendar to see if they want to do something on "their" date.
With respect to Social Gatherings:
- Monthly social dinners will be re-considered once the restrictions on pubs are eased to the point that our dinners are viable.
- Saturday morning coffees will also be re-considered when the restrictions are eased. At present there is a small group meeting beachside at Port Melbourne - with takeaways from the Bakehouse. If you join them please remember the social distancing and group numbers limits and be sure to take no risks with the spread of the virus.
All members are reminded of truth-in-humour of the meme circulated on Facebook recently:
"Reducing the social restrictions does not mean that the pandemic is over.
It just means that they have room in Intensive Care for you".
Take care out there,
President, Melbourne Branch