Prime Minister Boris Johnson abandoned the national slogan “stay at home” and replaced it with “stay alert” on Sunday and said that anyone who could not work from home – like construction workers and manufacturing – were now “actively encouraged”. “To return to work. But he also urged people to avoid public transportation and stay at home if possible, which could lead to accusations of mixed messages.
Leaders from Scotland and Wales said they would stick to the “stay home” message, and the London Transit Authority said it could only carry 15% of passengers even after the restoration of 100% of the services.
Dominic Raab, the First Secretary of State, appeared to further cloud the waters in a series of media interviews on Monday morning when he made contradictory statements about the size and nature of the gatherings that would be authorized between people from different households. Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer said Johnson’s statement was confusing. “What the nation was looking for tonight was clarity and consensus. The truth is that the Prime Minister’s statement raises more questions than it answers. “
In his speech at Downing Street on Sunday evening, the British Prime Minister unveiled the “prudent measures” the government will take to ease emergency restrictions. He said that starting on Wednesday, people would be allowed to exercise outdoors outdoors instead of just one trip a day, and would be allowed to sit in parks, drive to other destinations and playing sports – but only with family members.
A 50-page document containing more details on the announcement was released by the government on Monday afternoon confirming further details.
Slogan “Stay alert”
Johnson also unveiled a new slogan “Stay alert, control the virus, save lives”, as well as a level 1 to 5 alert system to help determine how quickly measures can be relaxed without triggering a second wave of infections.
Before Johnson’s announcement, Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said his government would not adopt the slogan “Stay alert”. “It is of course up to him to decide what is most appropriate for England but, given the critical point where we stand in the fight against the virus, #StayHomeSaveLives remains my clear message to Scotland at this stadium, ”tweeted Sturgeon.
At a press conference in Edinburgh on Monday, she said that people should not travel from England to Scotland unless there is a valid reason. “If you are in Scotland, Scottish law applies,” she said.
Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford said Wales would not drop the ‘stay at home’ message, while Irish Prime Minister Arlene Foster said she would continue to promote the ‘stay at home’ message “, According to PA Media. “We did not come out of the woods. This is steady progress, rather than rushing out, “Foster tweeted.
Defending the reopening plan, Raab said on Monday that the measures announced by Johnson the day before had been “clear”. In a radio interview with the BBC, Raab echoed the timeline given by Johnson but deviated on some details.
Raab – who is actually Johnson’s deputy as first secretary of state – gave new updates on specific jobs, including the fact that people who work for other people, including mobile hairdressers, will not be allowed to return to work.
Raab refused to answer if employees would be able to leave work if they felt insecure, saying “it is very difficult to answer this assumption.”
“Employers have a duty to provide secure Covid settings,” he added.
Responding to a question about whether the measures create a “two-tier” system where “low wages take the risk of catching the virus and spreading it”, Raab said it was “not fair “
Business leaders and unions demanded clarity. Len McCluskey, secretary general of the second British union Unite, said that “millions of people” would be “stunned” by the government’s plan. “The Prime Minister’s response last night was both confused and incredulous,” he said on BBC radio. “Listening to Dominic Raab, I wonder why we didn’t wait to see the 50-page document and the directives that are about to come out before there is any indication of return to work . “
Raab has confirmed that the exceptions to quarantine include at least certain arrivals from France and freight transport.
UK Airport Operators Association chief executive Karen Dee has warned that the introduction of a quarantine period could have a “devastating impact” on the UK aviation industry. “Quarantine would not only have a devastating impact on the British aviation industry, but also on the economy in general … if the government considers quarantine to be medically necessary, then it should be applied selectively based on science, there should be a clear exit strategy and the economic impact on key sectors should be mitigated, “said Dee.
Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways’ parent company IAG, said the government’s plans to quarantine arrivals to the UK for 14 days were a “surprise” and will cause the airline to review the restart of flights .
“We planned to resume our flights on a fairly large basis in July,” Walsh said in a virtual appearance at a meeting of the House of Commons Transportation Committee. “I think we will have to revisit this based on what the Prime Minister said yesterday. “
CNN’s Max Ramsay, Ivana Kottasova and Simon Cullen in London contributed to the report.