Irish geriatricians are understood to have been consulted by the HSE and a majority of specialists who care for older people are in favour of advising over-70s who have been cocooning that they can go for a daily walk.
The views are expected to be fed into today's crunch meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team which will consider if there should be any relaxation of restrictions.
It is understood that geriatricians have urged that the physical and mental health benefits would outweigh the risk of a walk and say safeguards could be put in place.
Dr Rose Anne Kenny, professor of medical gerontology at Trinity College Dublin and director of the new Mercer's Institute for Successful Ageing, said yesterday she is in favour of recommending that over-70s be advised they can go for a daily walk.
"It is not a mandatory regulation but very strong advice at the moment is not to go out for a walk," she said.
"I strongly believe people need physical activity. There is no doubt about that.
"We decondition very rapidly at a certain age. It means our muscles get weaker and we are more prone to frailty.
"So it is very bad not to be getting regular physical activity. The commonest form of activity for adults is walking."
She pointed out it is good for heart and mental health.
However, people had taken the recommendation very seriously and by and large had not been going out .
"I don't see that as being good for health," Prof Kenny said.
She suggested there be a dedicated period of the day when people who are asked to cocoon can safely go out and recommended this could be between noon and 2pm daily.
There needed to be a window to allow them to feel safe and comfortable to go out.
"That is the time cocooners know they are safe because that is the time others should be asked to stay in," she said.
Prof Kenny said she does not like language like "letting them out".
She also pointed to the problems of vitamin D deficiency which can increase as people get older. "There is a strong association between vitamin D deficiency and muscle weakness and bone weakness," she said.
"There is also emerging evidence that there is an association with viral infections particularly of the coronavirus family.
"Some intensive care units are giving vitamin D to patients who are admitted with the most severe consequences of Covid-19."
She added that vitamin D came mostly from sunlight or from supplements. If people didn't spend time outside vitamin D deficiency was likely to become more common.
Asked about face masks or coverings for over-70s, she said there were different schools of thought and it had not been recommended yet.
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