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B.C. and Alberta add bike shops to essential services

Western Canadian provinces latest to order non-essential business to close to prevent spread of COVID-19

B.C. and Alberta are two of the latest provinces to issue a list of essential services during the COVID-19 outbreak. Bike shops are included on the lengthy list of services and businesses to stay open, provided they take proper precautionary measures.

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Many cities have seen a growth in bicycle use during the coronavirus pandemic. People are using them as an alternative to public crowded public transportation, as well as for exercise.

Ontario and Saskatchewan also include bike shops on their list of essential services.

Quebec caused some controversy by excluding bike repair from the provincial list of essential services during coronavirus.

While bike stores were ordered closed, Quebec allowed auto repair stores to stay open. “Bicycles are yet to be considered at the same level,” Jean-Daniel Lafleur, Co-Owner of Montreal’s C & L Cycle told Canadian Cycling Magazine. “Not everybody has a car, and not everybody can afford a car. This isn’t about the guy who comes in to buy a fancy lock or a new bag, it’s about providing an essential service.”

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Manitoba is expected to release its own list on Monday, March 30.

Bike shops that have remained open in all provinces have taken extensive measures to create a safe environment. Measures taken by some shops include changes in service structure, appointment only service and hand washing stations.