Pollok parkrun, Glasgow is cancelled on 24 October 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Covid 19 Update 28September 2020

You might recall the proposal published on 8September advising that parkrun would restart in England towards the end of October. That timing is now no longer considered appropriate. The situation in Scotland in relation to parkrun remains unchanged in that the current rules do not permit parkrun to restart.

Stay with us though we will get there in the end !

 

Covid 19 Update 8September 2020

You might have seen on TV or heard on the radio that parkrun HQ have announced that they propose to restart parkrun in England towards the end of October 2020. However it should be noted that this applies only to England at this time.

Quote from Tom Williams Chief Operating Officer at parkrun Global

'Unfortunately, as things stand, and due to current restrictions across Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, we are not able to commit to the same timeline across the other Home Nations. However, we are aware of the implications of only opening in England and are continuing our work to overcome the challenges that this presents. We are also as committed as ever to opening our events outside of England as soon as possible.'

Thanks for your patience - we will get there !

 

 

Covid 19 update from parkrun HQ 2 September 2020

Those of you who have followed these weekly updates since early April will know that, whilst we wouldn’t rule anything out, our initial preference has been that we would only start entire parkrun countries at a time. This was based on a number of factors, but largely that the complexity of supporting numerous varied regulations, as smaller regions updated their guidance (often on a daily basis), was not practical or scalable.

We also felt that, over time, countries themselves would tend toward single strategies being applied to their entire populations. It is now clear, however, that this will not necessarily be the case and that sticking to our ‘entire country at a time’ preference may result in some locations being delayed considerably and unnecessarily. This despite it being safe for them to operate, and with their local guidelines allowing them to do so. Therefore, having taken time to consider the practicalities and logistics, we are now looking to start the process of reopening sub-nationally in some locations.

For example, Cape Pembroke Lighthouse parkrun in the Falkland Islands and parkrun events in Australia’s Northern Territory will likely be among the first to restart. These events are geographically remote, difficult to travel to, and have clear and specific local guidelines that permit us to return.

At the same time we are also exploring opportunities across more complex situations. For example, within some countries we are seeing significant differences between infection levels and associated public health guidelines (such as across the US). And in others, whilst there isn’t necessarily a significant variation with regards to the prevalence of the virus, different regions are still choosing alternative routes forward (such as the four home nations of the United Kingdom).

Importantly, and as has always been the case, we will not reopen events where their delivery (in line with our published COVID-19 Framework) does not fit clearly within government or public health guidelines for their region or may result in breaching participant limits. Also, where guidance is ambiguous and clarity is required, we will take the time to seek that clarity before moving forward.

Thanks, as always, for your support and patience.

 

Covid 19 Update from parkrun HQ 25August 2020

From the beginning of this challenge we have believed in taking a pragmatic and considered approach, that protects the spirit of parkrun, and prioritises the safety of everyone who comes into contact with our events. At the same time, we have developed our understanding of the risks of returning such that we can appropriately balance those against the benefits.

A significant part of developing our understanding is related to the evidence around virus transmission in outdoor settings. As part of that we commissioned Professor Mike Weed of The University of Christ Church and Canterbury, in the UK, to carry out a rapid review of the relevant evidence. You can find the protocol for that work published here, and listen to Mike discuss the protocol in the next episode of the Free Weekly Timed podcast.

Work is continuing behind the scenes to prepare for the return of parkrun. We are in close conversations with government departments and public health bodies across a number of parkrun countries, and we are consistently seeing an agreement that the public health benefits of our events are significant, whilst the risk in terms of virus transmission is relatively small. Our Framework has been consistently positively received, and publicly we are experiencing wide-ranging support for the return of our events. Whilst right now we are not ready to commit to specific dates, we do remain positive that some parkrun countries could reopen before the end of October.

Outside of parkrun there is an increasing case for optimism. Other sport and physical activity events are already returning successfully where they are able to accommodate certain mitigations, and each of those moments represent a small victory and a step toward normality. When you look closely it is clear that the world is moving forward, and that the wonderful human spirit is rising to the challenge. We are also seeing schools return, universities prepare to accept more students than ever before, and the tentative return of spectators to sporting events.

Whilst progress isn’t always obvious, things are moving forward, and there is much to be positive about right now. The return of parkrun events is closer than ever.

Thanks as always for your support and patience,

 

Covid 19 Update from parkrun HQ 18th August 2020

Last Friday we published our COVID-19 Framework FAQs, following on from the publication of our COVID-19 Framework which outlines how parkrun will return in locations where there remains an underlying level of Coronavirus infection and/or social distancing requirements are in place as set by public health bodies.

We have been delighted with the response, with hundreds of you contributing questions, suggestions and comments over the past couple of weeks.

Additionally Tom Williams chatted with Vassos Alexander on last week’s Free Weekly Timed podcast, going through ten of the most commonly asked questions in more detail. You can listen to that conversation here.

One question which we are now seeing is a concern that some event teams may have about filling volunteer rosters due to the increased need for barcode scanning volunteers.

For the past seven weeks we have been conducting weekly surveys to assess the parkrun community’s intent to return to parkrun. Each week we see an increase in the number of parkrunners who tell us they would return in all capacities, from walking, jogging, running and volunteering.

We strongly believe that following a lengthy pause there will be a huge desire from the community to fill all available volunteer positions. There are over 500,000 different individuals who have volunteered worldwide at parkrun. On any given week around 6% are needed to ensure events can be delivered. Our insight shows us that, more than ever, the community is keen to come back and help parkrun restart.

We will not leave event teams unsupported. When we are ready to return, we will ensure that our national communication channels explain the requirement for additional volunteers and highlight the ways in which parkrunners can contribute if they want to. If individual events are having difficulties, then we will step in at a local level to support volunteer recruitment.

Lastly, parkrun events in New Zealand remain suspended this weekend. Whilst we are disappointed that once again parkrun is paused across the world, and that it might look like we’ve taken a backwards step in New Zealand, we do remain optimistic. Throughout the world progress is being made and we are continuing to see a return to something more like normal life in many countries.

Once again thanks for your patience and support.

We are getting through this together.

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