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Mixed reactions to Government’s new Covid-19 slogan

Britons are now set to be asked to ‘Stay alert, control the virus, save lives’.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street, London, as he resumes working after spending two weeks recovering from Covid-19. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday April 27, 2020. The Prime Minister is resuming full-time duties at the head of the Government three weeks after he was admitted to hospital with the disease. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street, London, as he resumes working after spending two weeks recovering from Covid-19. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday April 27, 2020. The Prime Minister is resuming full-time duties at the head of the Government three weeks after he was admitted to hospital with the disease. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street, London, as he resumes working after spending two weeks recovering from Covid-19. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday April 27, 2020. The Prime Minister is resuming full-time duties at the head of the Government three weeks after he was admitted to hospital with the disease. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Government’s new slogan for the next phase in the fight against coronavirus has drawn a lot of scorn, and a certain amount of praise.

After the successful bluntness of the shutdown message of “stay at home, save lives, protect the NHS”, Britons are now set to be asked to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”.

Top-selling Harry Potter author JK Rowling immediately hit out by saying: “Is Coronavirus sneaking around in a fake moustache and glasses? If we drop our guard, will it slip us a Micky Finn? What the hell is ‘stay alert’ supposed to mean?”

Andy Burnham, the  Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester, tweeted that it “feels to me like a mistake to me to drop the clear” stay at home message.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to unveil a coronavirus warning system when he outlines his plans to gradually ease the lockdown while dropping the “stay home” slogan.

He is set to outline his “road map” to a new normality during an address to the nation on Sunday.

Mr Johnson is planning to urge workers who cannot do their jobs from home to begin returning to their workplaces while following social-distancing rules.

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The old message was to ‘stay home’ (PA)

The old message was to ‘stay home’ (PA)

PA

The old message was to ‘stay home’ (PA)

Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said: “The messaging from this Government throughout this crisis has been a total joke, but their new slogan takes it to a new level.”

He wondered: “Stay alert? It’s a deadly virus not a zebra crossing.”

Writer and comedian Adam Kay added that it would be “difficult to stay alert to something that’s 0.0001 millimetres in diameter. This pandemic is going to have as many spikes as a coronavirus”.

There was praise for the new message from the Bruges Group think tank.

In a tweet, it stated: “The Government’s new slogan is good. Green replaces red for a calmer feel. ‘Stay Alert’ replaces ‘Stay Home’ and underlines individual responsibility. ‘Control the Virus’ is a positive message. It’s within our power to achieve.”

PA