In the absence of any more specific restrictions, we are self-identifying as an “essential service” and continuing to service bikes.
We’ve kept many NHS workers’ bikes on the road and enabled them to avoid buses, trains and tubes; we’ve serviced many bikes that people rely on for basic transport, their well-being and good mental health.
Like Germany’s government and the governor of New York, we view cycling as an essential part of public transport. And although less of the public will need transport in the coming weeks, those that do will really need their transport to work properly, and that’s where we come in.
We’re making this decision because at the moment the guidance isn’t clear about our status; we are in no way cavalier about the risks of COVID-19.
We’ll continue to make sure we do everything we can to minimise infection and transfer. Our shop door stays locked and we’ll only allow customers in one at a time (there’s our awning to wait under if it’s raining). We’ll continue to disinfect our surfaces and our tools frequently; we wear gloves and we disinfect the contact points of every bike we touch and disinfect our gloves between bikes. And, if there’s anything else we can reasonably do to lessen the risk of infection, we’ll do it.
So, although our door will mostly be closed, we’re going to keep working on your bikes until someone tells us we can’t, because we know how essential a working bicycle is to those who rely on it.
UPDATE: as of 23h30, we’re on the UK government list of specific exceptions to closures – http://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874732/230320_-_Revised_guidance_note_-_finalVF.pdf – twice!