Enable low risk activities in low risk

Level of the virus are different across Scotland and there is lower risk of transmission when engaging in outdoor activities whilst maintaining social distancing. For people's mental health and physical well-being we should be looking to assess risk and enable greater low risk activity. A regional approach could be adopted so low risk areas could be the first to try relaxed measures; if this does not impact on the R value and infection rates, higher risk areas should also follow suit. This would work along the lines of people being allowed more freedom but required to remain in their regional area, i.e. stay local but within 50 miles for example. This could be backed up by increased testing in the trial areas to assess impact.

Why the contribution is important

This is a complex problem across the different landscapes of Scotland - cities, rural areas, wilderness and Islands. One size does not fit all and we risk lockdown fatigue when some areas of the population understand that they are living in areas of low risk and can conduct activity safely without engaging with other members of the population. There comes a point where people will start justify non-compliance because they no longer believe that the policy is proportionate. This would help build confidence and trust which, in turn, will increase and maintain support of government direction.

by dtecosse on May 08, 2020 at 09:53AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 4 votes


  • Posted by AlisonChandler May 08, 2020 at 09:58

    Very risky as with starting all unnecessary activity like tennis, golf etc.... What do people do on the way to/from? Use more public transport, petrol stations, shops on the way?
  • Posted by Sulphonamide May 08, 2020 at 10:37

    While I understand that every little thing helps and the fear that people will push the boundaries wherever they are set, this really feels like catching the penny and missing the pound. When we see the (apparent) lack of testing and PPE in care homes and hospitals, when we see pictures of packed planes and reports that our borders are essentially still open with arrivees politely requested to self-isolate (true or not is hard to tell). stopping people from getting outdoors - where the chances of transmission are very minimal with social distancing - except for brief periods, corralled into a small area, comes across as thoughtless mean-spirited beaurocracy. I am of course confident that it is done with the best intentions, but think it is now counterproductive on a number of levels:

    Firstly it is making social distancing far more difficult when we are all hemmed in rather than able to spread out - trying to go for a run is nigh-on impossible even at 6 a.m. or 9 p.m. as there are simply too many people around to get safely past. Walking dogs or taking children out seems to be equally difficult - travelling 1 km I will need to cross the road anything up to 10 times.. With a 10 minute drive, I could do this without seeing more than a handful of people - and it would mean more space for everyone who does just want to putter through the park. Secondly of course it makes people "feel" locked down and this is starting to have a severe effect on mental well-being. Thirdly, it is affecting physical health....definitely not something our nation can afford - and some people are used to getting very large amounts of exercise and everything goes to pot without it. Finally, there is good anecdotal evidence (even if we still don't fully understand the reasons that seasonal flu tends to die out once warmer weather comes along) that people spending more time outdoors will lead to better immunological health and lessen the likelihood of catching the disease (yes not all viruses are thus, but warmer countries do seem to be surviving this one much better) - compared to sitting trapped indoors miserably inactive in front of a TV.

    So, compared to those in the front line risking their lives, should we give ourselves a reality check and stop bleating? Yes possibly....but I see only negatives in keeping us corralled rather than letting people spread out a bit more. I cannot see that people will tolerate this for all that much longer and, once that bond is broken (rules and regulations are viewed as pointless and there is no longer a moral imperative to do our bit and comply) it will make all enforcement that bit more difficult.

    Yes I am a mountaineer desperate to get back out there - but if things move slowly and sensibly, I would be confident that all mountaineers will happily stay off anything even vaguely dangerous as our part of the bargain - and I think that the same will apply to golfers, to those who fish and everyone else who enjoys our wonderful outdoors...but the time is coming to either let us out, or to explain why our (albeit trivial) sacrifice is not pointless compared to the more egregious issues that keep the rate of infection high and keep the vulnerable dangerously exposed.

    In the main, I believe you do have the support of the country, but that could easily be eroded (especially of course if our neighbours decide to act differently...) if people see that the far bigger problems are still not being tackled effectively (many of us want to blame "other" politicians, but sooner or later doesn't the Scottish govt have to shoulder the blame for this continuing for so much longer than almost every other country? It can't all be Westminster's fault can it?). If people see no hope for this ending whatever they do, but also feel that their actions make no difference, then the police move from being our treasured protectors, of whom we should be proud, to petty enforcers (our bond with the police is definitely not something we wish to lose....see most other countries)..
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