The U.K. government has replaced its “stay at home” coronavirus slogan with a “stay alert” message, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday introduced the stages to lift that country’s lockdown amid the pandemic.
The government-ordered lockdown, which began March 23, has significantly reduced the transmission of the virus in Britain. However, the daily death toll remains high, with 32,000 fatalities as of Sunday, for the most in Europe and the second-highest pandemic toll worldwide.
Johnson, who returned to work two weeks ago following his hospitalization for the virus, announced in a prerecorded televised address some minor changes to the lockdown.
Meanwhile, governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already extended their lockdowns for another three weeks.
Ahead of the speech, Johnson detailed the meaning of the new “stay alert” slogan as telling the public to “stay at home as much as possible,” to keep two meters (over 6 feet) apart “where possible” when going out, and to also limit their contact with other people.
The leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said they would stick with the “stay at home” message. Up to now, the four nations of the U.K. have moved in lockstep on virus regulations.
Among the changes:
-Some workers will be permitted to return to their jobs
-People will be allowed to exercise outside more than once a day
-Garden centers will reopen
-Everyone who flies into the U.K. will be required to quarantine for 14 days unless they are coming from Ireland
Johnson said, “It would be madness to throw away that achievement by allowing a second spike,” regarding the country’s progress. “We must stay alert. We have been through the initial peak, but it is coming down the mountain that is often more dangerous.”