Since last Tuesday, 5th May, the guidance around exercise for older and vulnerable people has been relaxed.
The most recent allowance for those who are cocooning to leave the house for exercise within 5km is welcomed by the Galway City Community Response Forum, which was established to assist at-risk members of the public during the current public health emergency.
It is now vital for both cocooners and non-cocooners to adhere to the guidelines in place to ensure that this exercise can be carried out safely across Galway City and also that cocooners feel safe and welcome outside their homes.
A spokesperson for the Forum commented, “We know that a lot of older and vulnerable people may be nervous to go outside after spending so much time indoors, so we are calling on everyone to follow the guidelines put in place by Government to ensure that those cocooning can exercise safely and minimize the risk of infection”.
Supporting those who are cocooning when they are outside their home
While it is in our nature to be as friendly and helpful as possible to others, the best way for everyone else to support cocooners is by following the national guidance in place:
- Keep at a distance
- Allow everyone space for walking
- Avoid physical contact
- Don’t offer to drive someone who is cocooning
Cocooning and exercise
If you are cocooning and decide to go out for exercise, it is still most important to follow these essential guidelines.
- Keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people while outside
- When out for a walk, avoid physical contact with people
- Don’t touch surfaces with your hands
- Wash your hands when you return home
- If you are living in a residential care facility, talk to your carer about what is safe for you
- If you are worried, speak to your GP for advice.
Exercise may also still be carried out and be just as enjoyable indoors. Healthy Galway City and County, in partnership with Galway Sports Partnership, have created an exercise leaflet to help older adults stay active while cocooning. This may be found, along with with a range of other resources, at www.galwaycity.ie/stay-at-home-resources
The current general public health advice for people who are cocooning is:
- Stay at home at all times, except to go out for exercise within 5km of your home
- If you are going for a drive, stay within 5km of your home and only share the journey with someone who is cocooning with you
- Avoid shops
- Arrange for food or medication deliveries to be left at the door
The Galway City Community Call Helpline remains available, 7 days a week, from 8am – 8pm, to assist those who are cocooning with getting access to essential supplies such as medicines, groceries and fuel.