Allow protected exercise for those on the shielding programme

Restricting all movement to people identified in the vulnerable groups has the potential to introduce secondary physical problems as well as the mental health implications. So in terms of relaxing a lockdown, without a vaccine, the threat of infection is of course increased. However, if countries like Ireland can faciliate people cocooned to exercise safely, then this would seem like a reasonable relaxation of restrictions whilst still maintaining physical distance and all the hygiene and safety standards that are recommended.

Why the contribution is important

We are being asked to live with the virus without being able to fully live if the requirement is that 24/7 lockdown is maintained longer term. It is reintroducing some quality of life while maintaining strict standards of hygiene and limiting direct physical contact where infection may arise. Systems like online shopping etc are not yet fully active for people on the shielding programme and the membership itself is being reviewed on an ongoing basis. So it is balancing risk with quality of life and finding some flexibility that promotes safety and the person.

by hend55 on May 05, 2020 at 04:11PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 27 votes


  • Posted by Willyscotsman May 05, 2020 at 16:58

    Shielded individuals should have the ability to get fresh air exercise and some vitamin D. There are a lot of golf courses out there with plenty of space to maintain distance. They could be used immediately
  • Posted by Scotswede May 05, 2020 at 17:04

    I completely agree and sympathise with this. It is neither reasonable, or in our society or economy's best interest, to lock 'vulnerable' people away until a cure is find.

    This will result in unnecessary deterioration in the health of many (both physical and mental) and I imagine will likely increase the number of unexpected deaths.

    I think this idea of dedicated exercise times should be considered - perhaps local authority parks could have dedicated opening times, with staff on hand to ensure and support appropriate social distancing and safety practices?

    Maybe unused schools could open their playing fields/gyms and janitorial/cleaning staff resume work to ensure cleaning/disinfecting between use?
  • Posted by Shielding49yearold May 05, 2020 at 17:41

    Allowing outdoor exercise (alone) for people in the highly-vulnerable shielding group is a very good idea (Please follow #shielding to see how much this would make a difference to people's lives, both mentally and physically.)

    In addition, since these shielding people would be unable to carry on their jobs in many instances, then either the length of time for self-employment grant needs to be extended for shielders or ESA (employment support allowance) does.
  • Posted by sandiegee May 05, 2020 at 19:22

    Totally agree with the above comments (although I'm a bit concerned that I'd have to go and find a golf course!!) I'd be happy to walk round the park near my flat or just walk along the streets criss crossing the road if anyone is walking towards me
  • Posted by LAM May 05, 2020 at 21:26

    Totally agree, it is morally wrong to expect vulnerable people or people over a certain age to isolate indefinitely. Such people should have options to get and we should all work to make sure that happens. I also strongly believe that everyone in shielded or vulnerable groups should have the right to take their own personal decisions on risks not be instructed on what they can and cannot do.
  • Posted by Mark May 05, 2020 at 22:44

    Totally agree. I also think it is reasonable - particularly if the weather is poor - for shielding households to go out in their vehicle (but not leave their vehicle) for a limited period.
  • Posted by Darkside May 07, 2020 at 07:27

    Totally agree, need to get out.
  • Posted by Crowlady151 May 07, 2020 at 13:24

    I support protected exercise. Not all in the shielding group are fit to exercise but still need to
    Get out of their homes.
    I don’t see golf courses as a solution. Most are private property and golf courses are maintained to a very specific, high standard by qualified personnel. Our local course has simply been abused by the public during lockdown. Picnics on greens, dog walkers, kids allowed to use fairways as football pitches…
    We have plenty of publicly owned green spaces that could have shielding safe areas built into them.
  • Posted by AnaMaria May 07, 2020 at 16:19

    Spain have set some protected time for vulnerable people and that idea may help those shielding or feeling vulnerable because of age to feel safe outdoors. This group also would benefit from going out in the family car for some fresh air and change of scenery. Important to get Something for this group Whilst the weather is fair
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