The French government restricted last Thursday outdoor physical activity to a radius of 2 km from home during the coronavirus lockdown, while cycling has been completely banned.
The French Federation of Cycling (FFC) has asked all cyclists to cease all outdoor riding. “In the face of the COVID-19 epidemic,” it says, “the FFC asks all cyclists to act responsibly and avoid all outdoor riding during this period. ‘Save lives! Stay home’”
Now, the French police are using Strava to catch cyclists training outdoors and in some cases they have left messages on users’ accounts notifying them they have been fined €135 for contravening the ban on cycling.
La police est sur Strava. Justice et confinement ! pic.twitter.com/YQ91zIS4Ux
— Dans la Musette (@DansLaMusette) March 19, 2020
France’s Ministry of Sport, in a bid to clarify any confusion around the ban on exercise, including cycling, said: “1km, 2km max… There is no question of getting away from your home. The rule is containment for everyone.
“Remember, you should only go out for emergencies like shopping or for your health. A little jogging is possible for your well being, but not a 10km.”
The measures are similar to those taken in Spain and Italy, which have both put heavy restrictions on all cycling, with Spain effectively banning leisure cycling and some degree of utility cycling.