The Scotsman

‘It’s a deadly virus, not a zebra crossing’ – ‘Stay Alert’ slogan branded ‘a mistake’


The Government’s new slogan for the next phase in the fight against coronaviru­s has drawn a lot of scorn as officials in Scotland insisted they would not be adopting it.

After the successful bluntness of the shutdown message of “stay at home, save lives, protect the NHS”, Britons are now set to be asked to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”.

Top-selling Harry Potter author JK Rowling immediatel­y hit out by saying: “Is coronaviru­s sneaking around in a fake moustache and glasses? If we drop our guard, will it slip us a Micky Finn? What the hell is ‘stay alert’ supposed to mean?”

Andy Burnham, the Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester, tweeted that it “feels to me like a mistake to me to drop the clear” stay at home message.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially revealed the moves to drop the ‘stay home’ slogan last night as outlined his plans to gradually ease the lockdown.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted she would be sticking with the current “stay home” message north of the Border, however, revealing that she had only learned of the slogan through the Sunday papers.

Mr Johnson urged workers who cannot do their jobs from home to begin returning to their workplaces while following social-distancing rules.

Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communicat­ion Workers Union, said: “The messaging from this government throughout this crisis has been a total joke, but their new slogan takes it to a new level.” He wondered: “Stay alert? It’s a deadly virus not a zebra crossing.”

Writer and comedian Adam Kay added that it would be “difficult to stay alert to something that’s 0.0001 millimetre­s in diameter. This pandemic is going to have as many spikes as a coronaviru­s”.

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