‘Stop panting viruses through our village; stay away’ the sign that provoked an outcry in part of Cambridgeshire

PUBLISHED: 13:35 13 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:35 13 April 2020

Cyclists urged to 'stay away' from Coveney near Ely. The sign has provoked a mixed response. Pictures; FACEBOOK

Cyclists urged to 'stay away' from Coveney near Ely. The sign has provoked a mixed response. Pictures; FACEBOOK

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A row has broken out after a warning sign was put out telling cyclists to “stop panting viruses through our village: stay away”.

Cyclists urged to 'stay away' from Coveney near Ely. The sign has provoked a mixed response. Pictures; FACEBOOK Cyclists urged to 'stay away' from Coveney near Ely. The sign has provoked a mixed response. Pictures; FACEBOOK

The sign was erected at Coveney – a small village three miles outside of Ely – but it has caused anger and resentment from cycling club members.

“What does Coveney know that the planet doesn’t then?” wrote one cyclist on social media.

Barry Matthews, chairman of the parish council, asked for whoever produced the sign to “connect with the council as we would love to understand the concerns”.

He said: “There has been no permission for this sign to be placed in its current location, it will be removed in due course.”

Cyclists urged to 'stay away' from Coveney near Ely. The sign has provoked a mixed response. Pictures; FACEBOOKCyclists urged to 'stay away' from Coveney near Ely. The sign has provoked a mixed response. Pictures; FACEBOOK

Mr Matthews asked the person who put it up to “please remove it and save someone having to go out and remove it”

One villager posted to the local Facebook page: “This is the most ridiculous sign I have ever seen.”

Others were not so sure, however, that the village should become a route for cyclists when social distancing and coronavirus restrictions advised people to stay local.

However, another cyclist suggested that “you are much more socially distant on a bike than if you were walking or running on the pavements”.

And another cyclist queried whether “Covid-19 has now mutated into a panting-inducing strain? Is Trump now going call it Coveney virus instead of Wuhan virus?”/

Cycling UK website advises that “although people are now being told to stay at home during the pandemic, exercise outside is still permitted, subject to regulations.

“This means it remains advisable for people to cycle for their health, fitness and well-being, but in line with our previous guidance, you should only do this alone or with members of your household (unless any of them have reason to self-isolate). Under no circumstance should you take part in any cycling activity in groups”.

Although the government has not implemented a strict time or distance limit while cycling, the consensus is that people should aim to minimise the time they spend outside.

In theory, however, it seems you can still cycle pretty much anywhere that you normally can.


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