Dear Dorset Section Members,
Please find attached a statement, with recommendations, received today from HQ on the Coronavirus outbreak.
Your Committee had already been discussing the potential impact of the outbreak on our events and were in the process of writing up some recommendations which involved cancellation of Club Nights, Breakfast and Lunch Meets, but still allowing local runs provided there were no pre-run gatherings, no coffee and / or lunch stops. In the HQ letter below, local runs are left to the discretion of the Section Committees.
But this is a fast moving situation and listening to our Prime Minister speaking an hour ago, it seems that gatherings of any size are to be discouraged, irrespective of indoor/outdoor staging. So reluctantly, your Committee has to inform you that the following are all cancelled until further notice:
1) Club Nights
2) Breakfast and Lunchtime Meets
3) Formal Runs
We will try and reschedule some of our runs later in the year.
Secretary, Dorset Section
—— Forwarded Message ——–
Date: 16/03/2020 16:57:24
Dear Section Secretaries
As we are sure you are aware, the next steps in the Government’s approach to the Coronavirus outbreak have recently been announced. The Prime Minister, alongside the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, indicated that the United Kingdom is moving into a ‘Delay’ phase, the aim of which is to push the peak of the outbreak into the summer so as to give as much time as possible for further research into the virus and to ensure that the NHS is as prepared as it can be. You will also have seen the more focused recent advice in relation to those over the age of 70, which describes a significant proportion of the Club’s membership.
The VMCC is by a long way the largest and best-known vintage and classic motorcycle club in the UK, and we feel we have a responsibility to show a clear lead in reacting to the situation with Coronavirus, as well as a duty of care to our members and our staff. Against this background, the Board’s position is as follows. For the duration:
• Section meetings should be suspended;
• the Club should not attend shows and suchlike;
• runs that involve a substantial amount of on-the-day organisation, and thus contact between participants and people such as marshals, sign-on staff or caterers, should be postponed or cancelled;
• formal or social runs may take place at the Section Committee’s discretion, but should not include pre-run gatherings or stops at cafes, public houses or suchlike: if that is not practicable, the event should be postponed or cancelled.
Sections are also asked to consider the situation of elderly or infirm Section members who may need live alone and/or need additional assistance at this difficult time. Phone calls would in general be better than house calls, but please do think about those who may need a hand or a friendly voice that cares.
The situation with major events such as Banbury and 1000 Bikes is a little less clear, but contingency plans are being investigated. Neither the Government, the ACU or the MSA, have so far said that public events of this type may not take place., but our anticipation is that this year’s nationally-organised events are likely to be postponed or cancelled. We cannot, however, confirm this until we hear officially from the appropriate regulatory authorities or the sites where these events are due to be based.
The Founder’s Relay Rally planned for Sunday 3rd May will be postponed until later in the year, provided a date can be found. The Rider’s Sheets for this will not now be distributed with the April Journal as originally planned.
As far as Allen House is concerned:
• the Library is closed for the duration, to both enquirers and volunteers;
• no visitors are permitted to enter the building;
• unless absolutely essential, staff will not for now attend external meetings and events.
At present, all of the Club’s staff are healthy, but anyone who shows the stated indicators of the virus will be sent home and told to self-isolate for 7 days. If this happens, we cannot guarantee that the office telephone will always be answered. In such circumstances, we ask for your understanding and patience, and suggest that for the duration, wherever possible contact with Allen House should be by email rather than telephone.
An ad-hoc Committee consisting of the Chair, Bob Clark; the Vice-Chair, Richard Thirkell; and Board Member Mario Costa-Sa, has oversight of the situation and I will be reporting to and reviewing matters with them on a regular basis. I fear that in the short term things are going to get worse rather than better, and that it may well be some time before the Club can resume its normal activities.