Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

Sturgeon mocked for attacking Boris’s slogan before unveiling her own ‘even vaguer’ one

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Nicola Sturgeon confirmed Scotland has entered the second phase of easing the lockdown and unveiled the message would change from “stay home” to “stay safe”. The SNP leader, who branded Boris Johnson’s “stay alert” slogan as “vague and imprecise” back in May, has herself been blasted for coming up with an even more puzzling message.

Matt Forde, comedian and former political advisor, branded Ms Sturgeon a “genius” for coming up with a slogan “even vaguer” than the Prime Minister.

The host of the Political Party Podcast wrote on Twitter: “Wonder if we’ll see the same fuss about ‘Stay Safe’ being as confusing as ‘Stay Alert’.”

In a follow up post, he added: “A few weeks ago Nicola Sturgeon said she ‘didn’t know what Stay Alert means’.

“Now she’s asking Scotland to ‘Stay Safe’, which is even vaguer. Genius.”

On Sunday May 10, Boris Johnson received huge criticism from changing the hugely successful “stay home, protect the NHS, save lives” message to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”.

Ms Sturgeon led the criticism and insisted it would not be used in Scotland.

Reacting to the announcement last month, she said: “Clarity of message is paramount if we expect all of you to know exactly what it is we are asking of you.

“As leaders we have a duty to deliver that clarity to those we are accountable to, not to confuse it.

“To that end I have asked UK government not to deploy their ‘stay alert’ advertising campaign in Scotland.”

At the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, the First Minister confirmed the message going forward would be “stay safe, protect others, save lives”.

In addition Ms Sturgeon announced a new public awareness campaign, called Facts, to help people remember the key precautions in limiting the spread of the virus.

The initials spell out the acronym: Face coverings in enclosed spaces, Avoid crowded spaces, Clean your hands and surfaces regularly, Two-metre distancing, Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.

From today people outside the shielding group in Scotland can meet up to three households outside – with no more than eight people gathered at a time.

From Monday face coverings are mandatory on public transport, dentists can reopen, professional sport can resume and places of worship will be able to reopen for individual prayer.

From June 29, outdoor markets, playgrounds, and zoos will re-open however people are advised not to travel more than five miles from their homes.

Non-essential shops can also open from June 29 but only if they have outdoor entrances and exits.

Ms Sturgeon told the coronavirus briefing: “There is no doubt the virus in Scotland is now firmly in retreat.

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“That is why the changes to the rules and the guidance I announced yesterday, though significant, were also careful, because we know we have to keep the virus in retreat.

“If we all keep doing the right thing, I am more optimistic than I have been in a long time that we are now firmly on the track to getting normality back into our lives.”

In Scotland a further six people have died after testing positive for COVID-19 – taking the total number of fatalities to 2,470.

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