Less than a third of people in UK understand 'Stay Alert' message

Less than one-third of people understand what Boris Johnson’s ‘Stay Alert’ coronavirus message is asking them to do, poll finds

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled new lockdown measures during the coronavirus outbreak and a roadmap of the next few months 
  • But members of the public have expressed frustration that they are confusing 
  • And a poll has found that less than a third of people understand the new slogan to ‘Stay alert, Control the virus, Save lives’
  • A massive 91 per cent of people said the previous ‘Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’ gave them more clarity
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Less than a third of Britons understand what the Government’s new ‘stay alert’ coronavirus message requires of them, research shows.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the next stage of plans to tackle the virus last night, including a partial easing of lockdown measures and a roadmap of how the economy might possibly be reopened in the months to come. 

But the new slogan ‘Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives’ has caused confusion among many members of the public after Mr Johnson announced in his address that people should return to work if they cannot work from home, are allowed unlimited exercise by Wednesday and would also be permitted to sit in parks.

And now a poll has found that the new message from the Government is only clear to 30 per cent of people.  

Last night Boris Johnson announced a partial easing of lockdown measures, saying people could exercise and sit in parks, but a new slogan has caused confusion 


The PM has dropped the ‘stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’ slogan in favour of a ‘stay alert’ version – but research shows many people do not understand what it means 

The public is almost evenly divided on whether they support the partial easing of the lockdown announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to the YouGov survey, conducted for ITV’s Good Morning Britain. 

A large majority of people, 91 per cent, say the previous slogan ‘Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’ gave them clarity on what was expected of them during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, 44 per cent voters backed the moves to partially ease restrictions and 43 per cent opposed them.

The survey also found that 46 per cent think the changes go too far in easing the rules, with 10 per cent saying they do not go far enough and 35 per cent insisting that the balance is about right.

Split into political voters, the research showed that six in ten 2017 Conservative voters support the changes to the lockdown – a much higher figure than the 37 per cent of Lib Dems and 32 per cent of Labour voters.

Of adults under the age of 50, 39-40 per cent are in favour of new measures, with 47 per cent among 50-64 year olds and 53 per cent for those aged 65 and above.

And men were more likely to back the updated rules, with 48 backing them compared to 41 per cent of women. 

Chris Curtis, of YouGov, said: ‘While the public have so far been overwhelmingly behind the government and its approach to tackling coronavirus, we might now start to see that consensus fracture. 

‘Previous polling has highlighted Brits’ concerns about the lockdown ending too quickly and this new research reinforces this view with almost half saying the announced relaxing of the rules goes too far. 

‘What’s more, the much derided new British government slogan, which YouGov’s snap poll shows many are struggling to understand, alongside the competing advice emanating from each part of the Union, has the potential to sow more confusion in the coming days.’ 

During his speech, Mr Johnson said that people who could not work at home, such as construction workers, would be encouraged to return to employment.

The PM also said members of the public would be allowed to relax in parks with people in the same household, travel to different destinations and enjoy exercising for longer than one hour. 

In a conditional plan to restore normality to the nation, he also said that a phased reopening of schools and non-essential shops in England could potentially begin from June 1 if transmission can be reduced.

And in July there could see a return of the hospitality industry, including bars and restaurants, as well as other leisure hotspots should the virus reproductive rate continue to remain below zero. 

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