South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed further progress in a teenager’s campaign to get some outdoor spaces reserved for shielded people so they can go outdoors to exercise safely.

The SNP MSP had written to the Scottish Government on behalf of her constituent, Hannah Jack, 15, who has been isolating at since the start of Lockdown due to being immune suppressed following a liver transplant.

The Scottish Government’s shielding team have now responded to Hannah’s request and said her input will be taken into consideration when formulating guidance for the next phase of shielding.

Hannah had asked them if guidelines could be changed so that shielded people could access the outdoors. Currently advice says that people in the high risk group must stay at home. Hannah wanted it changed to say they could go outdoors to specially reserved spaces. Until it’s adjusted it’s difficult to persuade local authorities that they could set aside parks and other green spaces safely.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine says,

“It’s great that the Scottish Government is listening to people like Hannah and taking on board their ideas and experiences when shaping public policy. Officials from the shielding team have said that Hannah’s input is incredibly important and helpful as they look to the future beyond shielding.

“And it’s really positive that they responded so quickly – It will give Hannah and Kaz a bit of hope.

“Shielded people are very anxious about what will happen to them as we move out of lockdown so it’s reassuring that their lived experiences will be central to the policies that are developed.”