Nicola Sturgeon refuses to drop ‘stay home’ message

Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson

As the UK Government ditches the ‘stay home’ message – Nicola Sturgeon has announced that she will continue to use the slogan in Scotland.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled a new slogan to replace ‘stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.’ The new message, which was tweeted from the Prime Minister’s official account today, reads ‘stay slert, control the virus, save lives.’

However, Scotland’s First Minister has refused to cave in to pressure from London, and has announced that Scotland will continue to use the ‘stay at home’ message. The ‘stay home’ message will also remain in Northern Ireland, and in Wales. The new slogan, will therefore only apply to England.

UK Coronavirus slogan, stay home, stay alert, protect the NHS, save lives,
Mixed messages: The PM has unveiled a new, more relaxed message.

Nicola Sturgeon took to Twitter to tell her followers, “The Sunday papers is the first I’ve seen of the PM’s new slogan.

“It is of course for him to decide what’s most appropriate for England, but given the critical point we are at in tackling the virus, #StayHomeSaveLives remains my clear message to Scotland at this stage.”

She added another tweet shortly after, which simply read “STAY HOME. PROTECT THE NHS. SAVE LIVES.”

Communities Minister Robert Jenrick appeared on the Sophie Ridge show on Sky News this morning to explain a bit more about why the message has been diluted.

He said “I think that’s what the public want and that they will be able to understand this message, which is that we should be staying home as much as possible but when we do go to work and go about our business we need to remain vigilant, we need to stay alert. 

“And that means things like respecting others, remaining two meters apart, washing your hands, following the social distancing guidelines because the virus continues to be prevalent, too many people are still dying of this and we’re going to have to live with it for a long time.”

When asked if he thought it was too early to lift lockdown measures, Mr Jenrick added “Well I hope not. We need to have a broader message because we want to slowly and cautiously restart the economy and the country.’

“We’re not going to take risks with the public. I understand people are anxious about the future but we want now to have a message which encourages people to go to work. 

“Staying home will still be an important part of the message but you will be able to go to work and you will in time be able to do some other activities that you’re not able to do today.”

Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman was extremely critical of the UK Government’s apparent relaxation of the guidelines.

She said “That is not a change that we would agree with. I think the First Minister was really clear last week that the ”stay at home” message was the right message and if I’m perfectly frank, I have no idea what ‘stay alert’ actually means,’ she told the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland. 

“We’re asking the public to do a very great deal here and the least we can do is be consistent and clear in the message that we’re sending and stay at home is the right message.”

Boris Johnson will address the nation tonight to unveil his vision of a “new normal” and will announce his plans to “unlock various parts of the UK economy.” It will be broadcast at 7pm on Sky News and BBC News.