Downing Street are also weighing in to try and explain the meaning of the new “stay alert” slogan.
A No 10 spokesman said the public can stay alert by “staying at home as much as possible”, “limiting contact with other people” and keeping two metres apart where possible.
“We can control the virus by keeping the rate of infection (R) and the number of infections down,” the spokesman said. “This is how we can continue to save lives and livelihoods as we start to recover from coronavirus.”
“Everyone has a role to play in keeping the rate of infection (R) down by staying alert and following the rules,” they added.
Tensions rising in the union over new coronavirus slogan
If you’re just joining us, here’s a quick overview of what’s happened with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s response to the government’s new coronavirus slogan.
This morning, the UK government introduced a new slogan, “stay alert, save lives”, to replace the “stay home, save lives” slogan used so far. It appears to be part today’s change in lockdown conditions, with some relaxation of measures expected to be announced at the government’s briefing tonight.
The slogan gained attention in the media this morning, with Sunday newspapers reporting on the new slogan and Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick discussing it on Sky News and the Andrew Marr show.
However, since the reveal, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, and Northern Ireland’s first minister Arlene Foster, have both said that they will not be adopting the new slogan. Sturgeon said it was too early for Scotland to drop the “stay home” message.
The health ministers in Scotland and Wales, along with Sturgeon, have said that they were not consulted on the change of message.
That brings you up to speed with this morning’s events – I’ll let you know as and when this develops further.
at 12.24pm BST
Prime minister Boris Johnson has just released some insight into what the new government coronavirus slogan means.
“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,” he said in a tweet.
The message was accompanied by a image which shows how to “stay alert”:
Stay at home as much as possible
Work from home if you can
Limit contact with other people
Keep your distance if you go out (2m apart where possible)
Wash your hands regularly.
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.#StayAlert pic.twitter.com/2z9yl1Fxs4
May 10, 2020
It is still somewhat unclear how this differs from the previous guidance – as these measures were largely already in place – but that is likely to be clarified at tonight’s briefing, when a slight relaxation of coronavirus lockdown measures are expected to be announced.
I wanted to share this brilliant picture with you all, which shows Boris Johnson in a socially distanced discussion with a member of public.
The photograph was taken as the prime minister took his morning walk through St James’ Park in London yesterday.
A member of the public stops to talk to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he takes a morning walk through St James’ Park in London. Photograph: Ben Cawthra/LNP
Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster has said the region will not adopt the new government slogan, instead sticking with the “stay home, save lives” message.
Speaking to BBC Northern Ireland radio on Sunday, she said: “On the whole, the message is to stay at home. We will say we are not deviating from the message at this time.”
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said Scotland will not be adopting the new slogan either, with Welsh and Scottish health ministers saying they were not consulted on the change of message.
Thanks to all those getting in touch with tips, pointers and questions – I’ll try to address them here in the blog.
If you see something you think we should be reporting in this blog, you can drop me a message on Twitter, @mollyblackall. I won’t be able to respond to everything, but I’ll try to read it all.
A leading statistician has criticised the government’s use of daily figures, describing it as “number theatre”.
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, chairman of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge, criticised the government’s daily briefings, saying that the public are being fed “number theatre”.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show this morning, Spiegelhalter said he wished data was being shared by people who understood its “strengths and limitations” and could “treat the audience with respect”.
Asked about the Government’s communication to the public through the briefings, Spiegelhalter said he had watched Saturday’s briefing and “frankly, I found it completely embarrassing”.
The government’s daily briefings on #Covid_19 are “not trustworthy communication of statistics” says Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter from the University of Cambridge#Marr https://t.co/TTJMcT0lgb pic.twitter.com/BEKFRhg23H
May 10, 2020
He said it was “extraordinary” that it is not known how many people have had Covid-19.
“We get told lots of big numbers, precise numbers of tests being done – 96,878. Well, that’s not how many were done yesterday; it includes tests that were posted out,” he said.
“We’re told 31,587 people have died; no, they haven’t, it’s far more than that. I think this is actually not the trustworthy communication of statistics,” he continued.
“It’s such a missed opportunity. The public out there who are broadly very supportive of the measures, they’re hungry for details, for facts, for genuine information, and yet they get fed this what I call ‘number theatre’, which seems to be co-ordinated really much more by a Number 10 communications team rather than genuinely trying to inform people about what’s going on.”
at 11.57am BST
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has just tweeted the original “stay at home” message and pinned it – meaning it will come up as the first tweet on her profile.
STAY HOME. PROTECT THE NHS. SAVE LIVES.
May 10, 2020
This is likely to be read as her doubling down on her earlier statement that the Scottish government would not be adopting the UK government’s new “stay alert” slogan. She argues it is too soon to lift the “stay home” message in Scotland.
Sturgeon, alongside the Scottish and Welsh health ministers, have alleged that they were not consulted on the change of slogan.
Intensive care doctors are warning that non-compliance with the lockdown could lead to a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
Their concern follows pictures on television of people gathering in large groups on Friday, and in one case doing a mass conga, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day and also of large numbers of people sunbathing and picnicking on Saturday in London Fields in east London.
Dr Ami Jones, an intensive care consultant in Wales, tweeted today to say: “Showing our supremacy in the world stats as we irresponsibly flount lockdown to celebrate VE Day in the worst fashion. Glad I’ve had a couple of weeks away from ITU to recuperate as the next wave is going to make this horrific statistic even worse. Things are about to get busy.”
Showing our supremacy in the world stats as we irresponsibly flount lockdown to celebrate VE Day in the worst fashion. Glad I’ve had a couple of weeks away from ITU to recuperate as the next wave is going to make this horrific statistic even worse. Things are about to get busy ? pic.twitter.com/FUhDfnP2rP
May 10, 2020
And Dr Mark Forrest, an intensive care doctor in the north-west of England, says he is “seriously worried” that ignoring the lockdown will increase the pressure on units like his.
He tweeted: “Our ICU already has more Covid cases than 2 weeks ago as more people go out. Ignoring lockdown has us seriously worried for the next few weeks.”
Vaughan Gething, health minister for Wales, has said that the UK government has not discussed the new “stay alert” slogan with the other nations.
“I’ve seen the media briefings and changed message for England. There has not been a 4 nations agreement or discussion on this,” Mr Gething tweeted.
“The WelshGovernment message has not changed. Stay at home and if you do go out observe the social distancing rules. StayHomeSaveLives”.
Vaughan Gething MS
I’ve seen the media briefings and changed message for England. There has not been a 4 nations agreement or discussion on this. The @WelshGovernment message has not changed. Stay at home and if you do go out observe the social distancing rules. #StayHomeSaveLives https://t.co/gIJ2N6zKyx
May 10, 2020
It comes after the Scottish health minister and first minister both said Scotland had not been consulted.
Liberal Democrats acting leader Sir Ed Davey has called for the Government to publish the evidence it used to move to its new “stay alert” slogan.
He warned that the change could cause alarm amongst the public, and make police enforcement “near impossible”.
“Changing the slogan now, while in practice keeping the lockdown in place, makes the police’s job near impossible and may cause considerable alarm. Ministers risk sowing confusion and losing public trust with this muddled communications strategy and lack of transparency,” he said.
“It’s not clear why the Prime Minister has made this decision,” he added. “For it to make any sense, we need total transparency on the science and advice that has led to this change. Ministers must publish the evidence they are relying on to make these decisions to allow for real scrutiny.”