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Parkrun restart delayed until 24 July by lockdown decision

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Parkrun events will not resume in England until at least 24 July after Boris Johnson delayed the lifting of all remaining coronavirus restrictions, organisers have said.

Parkruns are free, weekly, community events organised in England and several other countries around the world.

The runs, which take place in parks and open spaces, have been curtailed due to ongoing Covid restrictions and social distancing guidance.

Following the prime minister's announcement that Step 4 in the roadmap is being put off until at least 19 July amid surging Covid cases, Parkrun said it was also postponing the return of its events in England.

"It is now our intention that 5k events in England will restart on Saturday 24 July," the group said in a statement.

"A huge amount of work has been done in recent weeks to ensure we have permission to return from the large majority of landowners."

The statement added: "Whilst this delay is disappointing, we respect the fact that a significant number of these permissions were contingent on the country moving into Step 4, and we will therefore target a new reopening date of Saturday 24 July."

Addressing the nation at a Downing Street press conference on Monday evening, Mr Johnson insisted that the new 19 July unlocking target was a "terminus date".

It came after leading scientists warned the government that pressing ahead with the 21 June date could result in a spike in hospitalisations, leaving the NHS with an unmanageable workload.

Therefore, Mr Johnson said, it was sensible to wait "just a little longer" before opening up to allow more people to get vaccinated, which reduces the risk of serious illness.

As of Tuesday morning, 41,698,429 people in the UK had received one dose of a vaccine while 29,973,779 had got both jabs.

The prime minister said he was "confident" no further delay would be necessary but was unable to rule that out, warning of the possibility that an unforeseen and "far more dangerous" variant could emerge.

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