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The current position regarding COVID-19(Coronavirus) and implications for parkrun events are available on each Country's blog.

COVID-19 Framework FAQs

Please note:

This is a live document that we are developing as we receive feedback from parkrunners around the world. As with the COVID-19 Framework itself, it is likely to change over the coming days and weeks.

  1. Why is there a single global process, when different countries have different guidelines regarding COVID-19?
    1. All parkrun countries are supported by parkrun Global, the UK-based charity which ultimately sets the guidelines in which events operate. Whilst it is important that local sensitivities are respected and understood, it is also important that we keep things as simple as possible.
    2. With 23 countries hosting parkrun events, it would not be practical to develop 23 different COVID-19 Framework documents.
    3. We will keep this under review and where it seems a country may not start for an unreasonable period of time purely because we will not carry out a simple additional function then we may choose to make an exception.
    4. Situations around the world are also changing on a daily basis and in general (not everywhere) restrictions are relaxing. Because of that, something that may seem inappropriate now could be perfectly acceptable in a few weeks time.
  2. Would we allow the partial reopening of territories/regions?
    1. Initially, our position was only to start entire parkrun countries at a time; a principle based on the desire to keep things as simple and scalable as possible, and the assumption that countries would tend towards a position where guidance was common nationally.
    2. We have seen significant differences within countries and as such have opened some areas sub-nationally.
  3. How are the decisions being made to reopen?
    1. There are four key factors we are considering when looking at reopening parkrun events:
      1. Government guidelines: At no point would we contravene government guidelines in a location where a parkrun exists.
      2. Infection risk: There are two components to this; the underlying level of virus in the community and chances of transmission at a parkrun event. The former is largely out of our hands, however, we are able to follow credible data sources in order to predict the likelihood of an infected person attending. The latter is more within our control and the aim of our COVID-19 Framework is to minimise transmission risk whilst retaining factors that allow parkrun to operate at scale.
      3. The intent of parkrunners to return: We continue to survey thousands of parkrunners asking them a number of questions relating to their intent to return. We have also engaged a specialist data insight company to provide further and more detailed analysis of that survey work.
      4. Acceptance in the wider community: Even if we felt it was safe, and governments allowed us, and all the parkrunners wanted to come back, it would be inappropriate for us to return if the wider community wasn’t supportive. That is harder to measure, however monitoring the return of other events and activities is incredibly helpful.
  4. Who decides when it is appropriate for an event to open?
    1. The ultimate decision to reopen a parkrun country is the responsibility of the Trustees of the Global parkrun charity, the global leadership team, the staff leadership team in that country, and, where appropriate, the non-executive board of that country.
    2. Local parkrun communities, public health bodies, and landowners will be kept informed, and consulted with, as part of the decision-making process.
    3. We will always listen to concerns raised by event teams or other local stakeholders, and where appropriate discuss them in-depth and at length.
    4. Should any volunteer personally not feel comfortable returning then we would always respect and support that.
  5. Why the shorter pre-event briefing and is there any flexibility around this?
    1. The Framework outlines keeping the pre-event briefing to a maximum of two minutes and to critical content only.
    2. We are currently reviewing the details of this section, and will possibly relax these restrictions in due course as long as a safe time-limit is maintained. Further amendments will be confirmed when possible.
  6. What kit is compulsory?
    1. Different parkrun locations have different kit requirements but anything that helps guide or organise the participants would be considered essential, for example, arrows, finish funnels, start/finish signs, flags that signify location, first-timer briefing sign, quiet signs etc.
  7. Should events purchase hand sanitiser and will it be reimbursed?
    1. A requirement of our COVID Framework is that events must provide hand sanitiser for their volunteers. The process for doing this varies between countries and we will update events individually prior to their reopening date.
  8. How can events physically distance participants?
    1. It is really important that we are honest with ourselves, our communities, and our stakeholders about what we can and can’t do. And, unfortunately, there is no practical way to maintain a mandated physical distance at all times between parkrunners on the start line, on the course, or in the finish funnel of our events, particularly our larger events.
    2. As such, our Framework does not require this to happen.
    3. What we can do is mitigate as much of the risk as practical and then work with public health experts to understand when it is appropriate to have large numbers of people together on the same start line, through the same course, or within the same finish funnel.
  9. Will parkrunners be required to register in advance each time they wish to participate?
    1. The COVID-19 Framework states “All participants are required to register online and in advance of their attendance” this simply refers to the existing process where people register for parkrun and print their barcode.
  10. The COVID-19 Framework mandates use of the Virtual Volunteer mobile application for all events. Common queries so far include:
    1. Waterproof cases: Guidance is currently being reviewed. However, we expect not to allow teams to hold a central supply of cases and distribute them on the day. Many events have been through several winters without cases and so we do not believe them to be essential.
    2. What about multiple timer files? The app will allow multiple timer files.
    3. What about unscannable barcodes? This will follow the usual protocol, at a safe distance.
    4. Should volunteers use their own device? Where possible, volunteers should utilise their own device.
  11. Will participants be able to leave belongings and bags?
    1. At many events, parkrunners traditionally leave belongings around the start or finish areas.
    2. Whilst it will be acceptable to do this, for example taking off a winter jacket before the event starts, it should be kept to a minimum and shouldn’t be done in a way that either a) encourages close proximity of different people, or b) requires volunteers to move or carry the items.
  12. What are the implications for toilet facilities?
    1. Events do not formally provide or manage toilet facilities. However, we understand the issues these may cause at a busy event where volunteers feel obliged to manage associated queues etc. in some way. As such, parkrunners should be encouraged to follow local social distancing requirements.
  13. Will there be consequences for teams not following the Framework?
    1. Yes - as with pre-COVID-19 teams are required to follow parkrun operating guidelines. Where they do not follow parkrun guidelines we will contact them and discuss the situation.
  14. What about parkrun tourism?
    1. There are many valid reasons why someone may participate at an event other than their registered home parkrun.
    2. Events must not attempt to police who does or does not attend their event, and we would actively discourage members of the parkrun community from publicly chastising parkrun tourists.
  15. What are the guidelines for guide runners, particularly those guiding people with visual impairments?
    1. Please see the COVID-19 Framework.
  16. What about face masks and gloves?
    1. At the moment we do not believe that there is robust enough evidence to support mandating the use of face masks or gloves in outdoor settings such as parkrun events.
    2. This, alongside the practicality of mandating them for some or all volunteers, means that our position at this time is we are not recommending their use unless they are legally mandated in a particular region.
    3. Volunteers are free to make their own personal choice as to whether or not they wish to wear them, we are supportive of those that wish to supply their own mask, and we will continue to review the evidence.
  17. Is it okay to deliver cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if necessary?
    1. We do not formally provide first-aiders at our events and as such direct medical intervention is not part of any volunteer role.
    2. However, we do track serious medical incidents very closely and know that critical incidents where CPR is required are exceptionally rare at our events.
    3. Where they do occur, in the overwhelming majority of instances, highly qualified people take control of the situation immediately.
    4. Importantly, the requirement for CPR always suggests an immediate threat to life, and parkrun events would only occur where the community infection level of COVID-19 is incredibly low.
  18. The Framework states that a parkrunner must undergo a self-assessment for COVID-19 and should not attend if they have symptoms. How can we confirm this has been completed?
    1. We cannot confirm this has been completed, rather it is a request that will be issued to all parkrunners directly (to their email) when parkrun commences in their region, as well as more widely through various communication channels.
    2. If volunteers present on the day of an event with apparent symptoms of COVID-19 then they should not be allocated a volunteer role.
    3. We do not have the right to prevent people from walking, jogging or running at our events based on our assumptions relating to COVID-19 symptoms.
    4. There are no requirements for Run Directors to take any action should they believe someone who has COVID-19 is in attendance at their event.
  19. Will a Run Director have a checklist of things they need to do?
    1. All Run Directors are required to be familiar with the entire Framework document. Should events wish to create their own checklist they are welcome to do so.
  20. What are the implications of the public not maintaining social distancing guidelines?
    1. This is largely out of our control but in the event of it happening and events being concerned they should log an incident via the normal process in WebFMS and we will provide support.
  21. What about high-risk individuals?
    1. We know many volunteer teams will have a number of people who may be at higher risk of illness if infected with COVID-19. It is not however for our event teams to assume how those people wish to engage with parkrun or to prevent them from doing so.
    2. Our role is to make parkrun events as safe as possible and provide people with enough information to make informed decisions regarding their own perception of risk and desired level of engagement.
    3. We cannot remove all risk and ultimately people will need to make their own decisions and be supported in those going forward.
  22. How will parkrun support contact tracing?
    1. Contact tracing requirements vary around the world, from none to presenting QR codes that register attendance, to collecting personal information at the venue itself.
    2. Having considered this in great detail, and balancing the requirements placed on volunteers, with appropriate data protection processes, and the need to respect GDPR, our position at this time is that event teams themselves must not collect any personal data for contact tracing purposes.
    3. We know that this may conflict with current published requirements in certain parkrun locations, and we know that our current registration and results process is not perfect (i.e. it doesn’t collect addresses or phone numbers) and also that around 5% of participants do not present with a barcode.
    4. However, our ability to understand who was in attendance (walking, running, or volunteering) at any given event on any given day is more effective than almost all equivalent settings.
    5. It would also not be practical for us to prevent people from participating if they did not bring a barcode. Our principle of allowing people to participate without a barcode will, therefore, remain, without the need to collect their data. We will, of course, be strongly encouraging people to bring their barcode.
    6. The likely process for supporting public health authorities with tracing would be:
      1. Someone tests positive for COVID-19 and is interviewed by a contact track and trace team.
      2. That individual says they were at a parkrun event.
      3. The contact track and trace team then contacts parkrun locally or centrally.
      4. parkrun then (centrally) contact the participants and/or volunteers from that day with information on behalf of the track and trace team.
  23. You are describing the Framework as completed, not finalised. What does that mean?
    1. We took the decision to complete (not finalise) our Framework and then publish it globally, well in advance of any opportunity to open an entire parkrun country.
    2. This was to allow a process of feedback from the entire parkrun family.
  24. What about custodial (prison) settings?
    1. Custodial events, as closed and carefully managed environments, will have their own COVID-19 protocols to follow.
    2. We will liaise directly with those events to support their reopening when appropriate for them.
  25. Why has the requirement changed from washing tokens and bibs to washing or quarantining?
    1. In April 2021 the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention published a briefing paper on indoor surface (fomite) transmission, stating that;
      1. Contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection,
      2. Outdoor surfaces present a lower risk than indoor surfaces,
      3. Infection risk further reduces by 99% within 72 hours.
  26. Will events be required to follow the COVID-19 Framework once restrictions are lifted?
    1. When designing our COVID-19 Framework we looked to create something that maintained the most important principles of parkrun yet wasn’t too onerous for teams to deliver. It has now supported the safe delivery of over 35,000 parkrun events worldwide, where over 700,000 people have participated over 4 million times, and is working very well.
    2. Whilst we would like to remove the need to follow these guidelines as soon as possible, in order to avoid any confusion, we will not be doing so in any country until we are confident we can do so permanently.
    3. The COVID-19 Framework currently applies to all reopened parkrun countries.