The Barcelona marathon scheduled for next weekend has been postponed until October to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Barcelona’s city hall said in a statement on Saturday.
The race was due to take place on March 15 but has been rescheduled for Oct. 25 following a meeting between the city hall’s sport department and local and regional health authorities.
Spain’s health ministry has reported 441 cases of the virus, leading to eight deaths. One hundred and seventy four cases have been reported in Madrid, with 24 in Catalonia.
“We have agreed to postpone the event to keep working on COVID-19 containment in line with the recommendations of the health authorities and the WHO regarding major events,” Barcelona city council said in a statement.
Fernando Simon, the health ministry’s chief coordinator for emergencies, also said the annual race normally drew at least 1,000 runners from areas that are currently considered infection hotspots.
“For non-professional sporting events, the recommendation is to postpone or suspend them, particularly events with a high number of participants from risk zones,” he said.
“In this case, the Barcelona Marathon usually has more than 1,000 participants coming from areas which are currently risk zones.”