Creating specific hours during the day for "medically vulnerable people" to access public parks is "vital" in ensuring they can safely enjoy the outdoors and get exercise during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is the view of Social Democrats councillor, Owen Hanley, who is calling on the Galway City Council to follow the example of other local authorities and designate specific times in green spaces for people at high risk from Coronavirus.
"Covid-19 and social distancing could be with us for a very long time," he said. "We need to especially support those over 70, or medically vulnerable, by giving them a chance to be in their local parks again should they wish."
Cllr Hanley has outlined his proposal in an email to City Hall's Parks Department section, and requested for such time slots to be "promoted and enforced with the full range of cocooning and vulnerable people in mind". This would include people with children; those with disabilities, hidden or otherwise; people with an auto-immune disease; a parent with a child with disabilities or medically vulnerable.
"The pressure of being indoors all the time can be enormous," said Cllr Hanley. "We need to support people so they are able to cope with this prolonged period of isolation as best as possible. Small measures can make long term sacrifices more sustainable. I have no doubt that if the Council established a time for the medically vulnerable to access our parks that the wider community would get behind it."