Parkrun is back - runners urged to maintain social distancing

Inaugural parkrun event held at Hatfield Forest

Archive: A Parkrun - Credit: Archant

Parkrun is set to return to Great Notley and other Essex Country Parks from June 26.

But runners are being urged to maintain social distancing and take a weekly lateral flow test, twice a week if possible, even if people feel well.

The news comes as the date for the end of social distancing rules - which was expected to be June 21 - is expected to be delayed to July 19. 

Dr Mike Gogarty, the Council’s Director of Wellbeing, Public Health & Communities, said: “We recognise the importance of as many people as possible getting involved in physical activity and the very beneficial role Parkrun plays in achieving this aim.

“It is important to remember that as we get back to normality the Covid-19 virus is still with us and while we are keen people enjoy Parkrun, this needs to be done in a way that is as safe as possible.

“Parkrun is about being healthy and we want to keep people healthy. With this in mind, I would ask runners to consider taking an LFD test before participating each week. This would be helpful.”


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Dr Gogarty said if runners felt unwell, he asked them to not attend these events.

Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council's cabinet member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Since the easing of restrictions last month we’ve all enjoyed being able to do more of the things we’ve missed and I know the return of Parkrun is keenly anticipated by many adults and younger people.

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"It is so important that we continue to take sensible precautions so that we do not compromise our new freedom.

“Now is not the time to be complacent; we will only be able to manage Covid-19 by everyone continuing to play their part, following the guidance, self-testing regularly and taking up the vaccine when invited to.

"By everyone following the rules, we can keep Covid-19 in check, together.”

For guidance on getting home tests see https://www.essex.gov.uk/getting-tested-for-covid-19/if-you-dont-have-symptoms

They are available online or for collection from a range of venues including libraries in Saffron Walden, Dunmow and Thaxted, certain pharmacists and some large supermarkets.


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