23rd September 2020
1,000 social distancing blue vests will be distributed across Cork City through various community centres and community groups. The blue vests will allow people with an underlying condition or who had been cocooning to get out and about, while reminding others to respect social distancing guidelines.
The idea came about through the Covid-19 Community Response Forum in Mahon, just one of the 16 community response groups set up by Cork City Council with the HSE and partners in response to the Covid-19 restrictions.
Feedback received from people cocooning as they came back out into communities when restrictions eased indicated that that they were very nervous and felt that people weren't giving them enough space. The purpose of the vests is to indicate clearly that the person is asking others to keep their two-metre distance.
Following a pilot of the initiative in Knocknaheeny and Mahon, the blue vests are now available through local community centres (listed below) and a further 250 blue vests will also be distributed through the Friendly Call programme.
Family members of people who are still cocooning will also find the vests very useful in terms of indicating to others that they need to keep their distance in order to decrease the risk of bringing Covid-19 back into the family home.
Sandra O’Meara of Cork City Council’s Community Section said, "The Blue Vests initiative for Cork City came about as a creative response to people’s fears and anxieties about Covid-19 when out and about. The distinctive Blue Vests simply act as a reminder to passers-by to respect social distance."
"This makes all the difference for people with underlying illnesses or after a period of cocooning, who need their exercise but want to remain safe’, she said.
Blue vests are available from the following community centres and organisations:
Alternatively, contact Cork City Council on firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the vests are available on a first-come first-served basis.