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by Liam Kirkaldy
11 May 2020
Scotland to retain 'stay at home' message


Scotland to retain 'stay at home' message

The ‘stay at home’ message will remain in place in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

Boris Johnson announced his "conditional plan" to reopen society in a TV address yesterday, telling the public to "stay alert, control the virus and save lives".

As part of the plans, workers in England who cannot do their job from home can return to the workplace - but avoid public transport.

But describing the new slogan as “vague and imprecise” , the First Minister stressed the message would remain the same in Scotland and that the only change to lockdown was the decision to allow people to exercise outdoors more than once a day.

The FM said people must still stay close to home and emphasised the move does not extend to picnics, sunbathing or barbeques.

Sturgeon told the BBC: "I am not, at this stage, asking anybody who is not working to go back to work, although we have said we are looking, with priority, at the construction sector, the retail sector and the manufacturing sector.”

Sturgeon added: "When he talks about things like border control, he is talking for the whole UK, but really all of us have a duty right now to be as clear as possible and, having watched the prime minister, I think there is still some room for some simpler messages," she said.

“For Scotland right now, given the fragility of the progress we've made, given the critical point that we are at, then it would be catastrophic for me to drop the 'stay at home' message.

"I am particularly not prepared to do it in favour of a message that is vague and imprecise."

On the ‘control the virus’ section of its new message, Downing Street said: “We can control the virus by keeping the rate of infection and the number of infections down.

"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 down by staying alert and following the rules."

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