COVID-19: UK to now shift from 'stay home' to 'stay alert'

WION Web Team
LondonUpdated: May 10, 2020, 09:07 PM IST


Story highlights

'Stay alert' to motivate people to stay safe even when they step out. The message comes hours before Boris Johnson addresses the country about lockdown.

United Kingdom is ready to shift from 'stay home' to "stay alert". The social distancing message is being modified as the country is hoping to ease the lockdown restrictions.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be addressing the people on Sunday late evening. It is being expected that he will be announcing relaxations in the lockdown.

The UK enforced its "Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives" message as a slogan for the strict social distancing measures on March 23.

"Stay Alert will mean stay alert by staying home as much as possible, but stay alert when you do go out by maintaining social distancing, washing your hands, respecting others in the workplace and the other settings that you'll go to," said Britain Housing Minister Robert Jenrick.

An alert system is also expected to be revealed in this address. The alert system will have different threat level from coronavirus. The levels will be ranked on a scale of one to five, with alerts ranging from green (level one) to red (level five). 

The British government is planning to open the lockdown slowly and cautiously to revive its crippling economy.

"The message ... of staying at home now does need to be updated, we need to have a broader message because we want to slowly and cautiously restart the economy and the country," said Jenrick in an interview to a media organization.

As part of the test, track and trace phase, a contact tracing app being trialled on the Isle of Wight region of England and downloaded by about 50,000 people will also form a key part of the government's strategy to tackle the pandemic as the lockdown measures are gradually eased.

The change in slogan has not won everyone's appreciation, though. The opposition feels that the 'stay alert' message might not be very clear and can be a little confusing. However, Boris' government is taking every step to make sure the right message reaches everyone.

"Everyone has a role to play in helping to control the virus by staying alert and following the rules. This is how we can continue to save lives as we start to recover from coronavirus," Johnson said on Twitter on Sunday. This message is being spread across the country with other important messages such as "stay at home as much as possible', "limit contact with other people" and "keep your distance if you go out".

Britain has reported 31,587 deaths and 215,260 confirmed positive cases.