Since the announcement this Thursday by Roxana Maracineanu, the Minister of Sports, of specific distancing criteria framing the resumption of certain sports activities from May 11, those concerning the practice of cycling or jogging are the subject of many comments .
For these two activities, the government has indeed provided "a distance of 10 meters minimum between two people". Such a constraint quickly raised questions as to its implementation as well as a questioning on its basis.
A recommendation… unrealistic?
The Minister's office confirms to us that it has only followed the recommendations of the High Council for Public Health (HCSP). In its opinion of April 24, it indicates in effect: “Physical activities contribute to a high risk of respiratory transmission by sustained ventilation (cycling, jogging) practiced in close proximity by several people. […] The distance between two people practicing a sporting activity must be sufficiently increased well beyond a meter, for example 5 m for a brisk walk and 10 m for the practice of jogging or a practice of the bicycle ”.
But for the time being, faced with questions on how to apply and enforce this safety distance, the ministry is delaying: "We will write these rules in guides which will be shared for the release of confinement and whose correct application will be checked. The services of the ministry are working on it for availability the weekend of May 9-10. "This Thursday, the cabinet of the Minister of Sports had already clarified to us:" These rules for leaving containment will not be done without everyone taking responsibility, because the constraint can also be tightened. If there are cyclists riding in a peloton on May 12, they may be subject to a fine. "
"But, are they going to measure?" "
Accustomed to riding regularly on the roads of the Gers, Guillaume Robert, 43, and founder of the Matos Vélo site, analyzes the measurement. "We had to make the cyclists understand that we couldn't ride in a group and that, if we caught up with a cyclist, we shouldn't put ourselves up to it and chat with him," he emphasizes. After, it all depends on how it will be applied by the police. Will they go so far as to measure? Because respecting ten meters if you meet a cyclist, even on a two-lane road, I don't see how it will be possible. But, as they say, there is the law and the spirit and I think that it is this idea of distance to leave that we will have to remember. "
On the side of the department, it is effectively suggested that there will be "flexibility", especially for overruns.
Some are unrecoverable. Many cyclists say that it is impossible to ride in groups of 10 respecting the 10m.
And well in this case, you drive alone, no more complicated. Always better than 1 hour max 1km from home. https://t.co/YKil9J21aQ
Guillaume Robert, however, relies on the details to come to be completely fixed. "We already know that there will be a distance of 100 km around home to respect," he says. But I think you do need a guide so people know exactly what to do and how to do it. Because, casually, even if there is deconfinement, we are still in a pandemic period. We will not be able to ride as before. Some people have a hard time understanding it, so it will be good to clear it up. ”
"We're going to refine the rule, it's too early to say".
Among the measures to apply for cyclists, as for joggers: deviate when overtaking or when walking along a sidewalk where there are pedestrians. "The government will have to communicate on this too, insists Guillaume Robert. It is common sense, but common sense is not with everyone unfortunately ”.
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It will also remain to know the places where these sporting practices will be authorized. It will not be as easy to respect these ten meters in the Paris region as in Lozère. "The HCSP also recommended cycling and jogging" in sparsely populated areas, or if possible in dedicated spaces, to avoid crossing with other people. This is undoubtedly also why, to the question of knowing if this distance of 10 meters will only concern the departments classified in green, the ministry answered us this Friday: "We are going to refine the rule, it is too early to say" .