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Lanyards Encourage Distance Between Vulnerable People

People who feel uncomfortable about walking through tight streets of Highland Perthshire, and into crowded shops, can apply for a badge or lanyard which indicates they would appreciate distance between them in the fight against COVID.

This scheme, from the Scottish Government, is about offering vulnerable people the opportunity to go outside and voluntarily distance from other people, asking that others do the same in return.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We are beginning to adapt to living with COVID-19 but we know that, for some people who have been at higher risk or feel anxious about going out in public, this is a big step.

“This scheme not only provides vital reassurance to anyone who chooses to wear a badge or lanyard, but also encourages us all to be more aware and considerate of those around us – as we simply don’t know their circumstances or concerns.

“I hope this will help people feel more confident and comfortable to go about their daily lives. The shield symbol can be worn by anyone.”

The Scottish Government has joined the scheme set up by the Bevan Commission and adapted it following research which showed that almost three quarters (73%) of people on the Highest Risk List said they would like to signal to others to give them extra space.

British Red Cross Scotland Director of Independent Living and Crisis Response Marie Hayes said: “We fully support the aims of the Distance Aware campaign and will be proud to highlight the scheme to callers contacting our Connecting With You service. Many people are experiencing loneliness, and are fearful of going out of their own homes as a result of the pandemic.

“We believe Distance Aware can help overcome this and help them to re-engage with social activities. This could be invaluable in helping to tackle loneliness.”

From 26 January, the badges and lanyards with the easily-recognisable shield symbol will be available free from all community and mobile libraries in Scotland. Badges will also be free from Asda stores. They can be ordered from the Scottish Government website for a small postal fee.

More information on the lanyards available can be found on: https://www.bevancommission.org/programmes/distance-aware

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