Bedford parkrun delayed by borough council - citing rising cases of Indian Covid variant
It's hoped the event might take place late June
The parkrun events due to take place in Bedford and Great Denham have been delayed by Bedford Borough Council following the rapid rise of Indian variant cases.
The events were due to return on Saturday, June 5 - but organisers parkrun UK is now aiming for Saturday, June 26 with a decision to be made on Friday, June 11.
Although more than 250 events across the country had been given landowner permission to return, parkrun UK said this falls far short of the critical mass needed to prevent overwhelming those that have been given the go-ahead.
Neither Bedford nor Great Denham runs were included in the list of venues that had been given landowner permission to go ahead.
A Bedford Borough Council spokesman said: "We are working with the organisers of the local Bedford and Great Denham parkruns, looking at options to bring these events back safely.
“With rapidly rising Covid-19 infections in Bedford borough and an increasing number of cases of a highly transmissible variant, first identified in India, the decision has been taken to delay the return of parkrun for the time being.
"This is a really popular event that often sees a big turnout, and at this time it is felt that it would be safer for people to run by themselves or in much smaller, socially distanced groups if they choose to do so.
"We understand how much people value parkrun as an opportunity to get some exercise and meet with friends, and we will be keeping this decision under review."
Nick Pearson, parkrun Global CEO said: “We will continue to work hard with landowners over the coming weeks to secure the permissions needed to return at the end of June. We are incredibly grateful to all of the landowners who have granted events permission to return so far, and for the groundswell of support for parkrun over recent days.
"Although it is disappointing not to be able to return on June 5, we are still optimistic that we can return parkrun events to nearly 600 communities across England very soon. We will do everything we can to ensure events restart on June 26.”