We have now taken a huge step forward in the reopening process, writing to 600 landowners in England requesting permission to return 5k events in June.
Below, we provide a further update on the reopening process across the UK.
The situation in England is currently the most straightforward, with parkrun considered an organised sports participation event, and operating within a government approved COVID-19 Framework, it has the full support it needs to return as part of the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown.
You can also read a letter of support from the Minister for Sport and Tourism Nigel Huddleston MP here.
With this in place, yesterday we requested formal written permission from local landowners to return 5k parkrun events across England on Saturday 5 June 2021.
In England, there are over three million people registered to almost 1,000 junior and 5k events, and in normal times, this represents close to 50% of our total global participation, making it a significant part of our operations, and critical to our overall return.
The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive, with permission already granted for more than 60 events and more coming in every hour.
As part of our regular UK Friday updates we’ll be publishing a full list of the permission status of English parkrun events from this week, as well as updating on the current status across all countries within the UK, so please keep checking back there for further information on your local events.
We continue to keep a very close eye on the situation in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales; working closely with our stakeholders in public health, local authorities, relevant governing bodies, as well as our event teams and ambassadors.
Although there does seem to be positive progress in these countries, we still do not have the level of clarity needed to confirm when all of our events may be able to return.
However, we are in talks with the Return to Sport group in Northern Ireland regarding a phased return of junior parkrun. There is currently no date agreed as yet, but we are hopeful of returning in late May.
Perhaps most excitingly, we do have a date of Sunday 9 May for the reopening of the first junior parkrun in Wales.
There is also further significant progress behind the scenes considering junior parkrun in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and we hope to be able to share that with you soon.
We are ready to move quickly in all territories, as soon as restrictions and guidelines allow.
Encouragingly, the return of junior events continues apace across England, with 106 events taking place last Sunday seeing 8,000 children walking, jogging, or running, and 2,500 people volunteering.
This weekend we are set to see a further 29 junior events restart, taking the total of junior parkruns currently operating in England to 135.
It is now more important than ever that people have access to free, regular, and inclusive physical activity opportunities in their local communities, as the whole nation starts to rebuild following the pandemic.
We’re excited to continue our conversations with everyone involved in the parkrun community, and hope to be able to share more positive news about reopening the rest of the UK soon.
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