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COVID-19 Early July Update

An update from OMC Chair Roger Bays

Published on: 07/07/20 03:46:pm

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Dear all,

Although there has been a further easing of the current lockdown by the Government and certain licences premises and restaurants are allowed to open, many of the early pandemic instructions still exist. These include no more than 6 people from different households can meet and gatherings of up to 30 people are allowed but only for major life events such as weddings, funerals etc.

Bedford Borough, which Oakley is part of, has for the last few weeks been in the top ten of highest new infection rates and the only top ten borough/town in the south of England. Leicester has already gone into a 2nd lockdown and there are fears that could happen at other locations across England, including Bedford.

The advice from Bedford Borough Council is stay at home where possible and stick with the 2 metres distance rather than the new 1 plus metre rule for licenced premises

Oakley Club opened on Saturday with an awful lot of work put into the premises complying with the new guidelines which include a one way service system, screens across the bar, the removal of many tables and chairs from within the club, outside tables being moved to ensure at least 2 metre distancing and only one person is allowed in any toilet. All attendees MUST sign in with name and contact details to comply with the Government track and trace system.

There are many changes, but these are the ones likely to have an effect on Oakley Motorcycle Club

OSSC are enforcing the members only rule and the kitchen will not be re-opening until the end of July at the earliest

What does this mean for OMC? I think we all know that should we re-open with decent weather on a Thursday evening we would be completely swamped. This time of year would potentially attract 300 plus bikes, 50 plus cars and footfall making a likely gathering of 500-700 people. The systems put in place by Oakley Club would not cope and social distancing couldn’t be maintained.

Further to the above, Oakley Club are expecting potential checks at some point as to their compliance with the guidelines and those in breach would expect a serious fine and possible compulsory closure if breaches persist. Should OMC re-open, I would suggest that we would be seen to be encouraging potential breaches knowing the likely numbers arriving which could well make the OMC committee as well as Oakley Club liable in law.

Oakley Club held a recent committee meeting and they do not wish us to re-open OMC until there is further easing of restrictions and certainly until they have had time to bed in their new procedures.

The OMC COVID 19 sub-committee met on Friday 3rd July and the decision was taken that we will NOT be re-opening OMC at the current time. Taking into account all the issues and current infection rate in Bedford Borough, we believe it would be wholly irresponsible, unpoliceable and against the wishes of our host club.

We will be holding a further meeting on 27th July to discuss any changes that may have happened since 3rd July.

On Thursday evenings, there will be no OMC committee presence and the Oakley Club membership rules will be strictly adhered to. If you are a 2020 paid up member of OMC included in that is membership of Oakley Club therefore you are welcome to attend should you so wish. Please be prepared for queueing, signing in (A QR code is available to be used with your mobile to speed up the process) and contactless card payment is encouraged.

During the COVID 19 meeting, ride outs were discussed and it was agreed that these will not be organised by OMC at this current time. Due to the limitations of 6 people as per the guidelines and the logistics of trying to organise different time departures/meeting points/social distancing at destinations etc is not something our Ride Out Lead and TEC group wish to do. This will be reviewed as soon as there are any meaningful changes to the Government guidelines.

May I take this opportunity to thank all who have renewed and your patience during this time. I hope you are all well and stay as such. COVID 19 has not gone away, it is still out there and I just hope that when we get the second peak, it is nowhere near as bad as the first one

Stay safe and I’ll see you all in the near future


Roger Bays – Chair OMC