Coronavirus: ‘Stay alert’ advice defended by communities secretary

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has defended the government’s change in messaging from “stay at home” to “stay alert” ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown speech later.

                               Robert Jenrick: “Stay alert will mean stay alert, by staying home as much as possible”


The PM has unveiled a new slogan for England, telling the public to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth warned that people would be “puzzled” by the change.

Mr Jenrick said it was the right time to “update and broaden” the message.

The “stay at home” advice will remain in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where the devolved administrations have said they will not take up the new slogan.

A further 178 deaths have been recorded in England’s hospitals, bringing the overall number to 23,150. There have been another 10 confirmed deaths in Scotland, 12 more in Wales, and five in Northern Ireland.

The latest UK-wide figures – which cover a different timeframe to those of individual nations and include deaths in care homes and the community – will be published later.

Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Jenrick said: “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.”

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