It’s almost ten months since we first closed all of our global events in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and since then there have been many ups and downs. Last week it was great to celebrate 53,000 people walking, jogging, running and volunteering with us, despite the fact that over 1,500 parkrun events remain closed as the virus continues to impact communities around the world.
Thankfully, the majority of our events in the Asia Pacific region are now open or have a date to open, and the situation right now in those areas appears relatively stable. All of our events in mainland Europe remain closed however, and with significant restrictions across all of those countries and the vaccine roll-out only just starting it’s unlikely that we will be able to move forward there any time soon.
In the US and Canada, where we currently have almost 100 events on hold, vaccination programmes may be clearer, and are already getting going. Therefore, although it’s unlikely that we will be in a position to reopen events before the Spring, there is much to be positive about.
Prior to the festive period, we announced that some events may be able to return in South Africa toward the end of January. Unfortunately, since then, the virus has increased in prevalence and as a result the country has significantly increased restrictions. The situation there is changing rapidly and we will update further when and where we have further information.
The UK and Ireland are now all in various states of national lockdown with significant announcements yesterday relating to Scotland and England. This means that our proposed reopening of some junior parkrun events in England over the next couple of months will be put on hold. However, in one positive development, the UK Government has committed to a significant roll-out of a vaccination programme, which, if successful, could well see the majority of restrictions lifted by the Spring.
Wherever you are in the world, please know that the parkrun family is with you, and whilst for many of us the next few months could be the most challenging of all, we believe that progress is being made every single day.
In the meantime please look out for each other and focus on the positive steps you can take to support your own health and wellbeing.
Chief Operating Officer
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