/Boris Johnson will tell public to stay alert, control the virus and save lives

Boris Johnson will tell public to stay alert, control the virus and save lives

Boris Johnson has come under fire for new ‘stay alert’ slogan in the next phase of the coronavirus crisis amid warnings Britain could suffer 100,000 deaths this year if the lockdown is relaxed. 

The PM is expected to drop the ‘stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’ instruction in a televised address to the UK tonight at 7pm in an effort to reopen parts of the economy.  

However, the updated instruction – to ‘stay alert, control the virus and save lives’ – has attracted criticism from public figures who believe ‘stay alert’ is much too soft to guard against a pathogen. 

It follows news that the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) received warnings that there could be 100,00 deaths by the end of 2020 if measures are relaxed too far and too fast. 

There are also top-level concerns that the government’s ‘stay home’ messaging has been too effective, with one poll showing that 90 per cent of Britons oppose lifting restrictions this week.

As a government source told The Sunday Times: ‘The view is that the public will forgive us for mistakes made when going into the lockdown but they won’t forgive us for mistakes made coming out of it.’

Mr Johnson will also announce a five-tier warning system, administered by a Joint Biosecurity Centre, to monitor the virus risk around the country and encourage public adherence to the new measures. 

The alerts will range from Level One (green) to Level Five (red), with Britain currently on Level Four.  

It will be administered by a Joint Biosecurity Centre, which will be responsible for detecting local spikes of Covid-19 so ministers can increase restrictions where necessary to help reduce the infection rates.

Boris Johnson will tell the British public to 'stay alert, control the virus and save lives' as the government drops the 'stay at home' message in the next phase of the war against coronavirus (pictured, outside No 10 Downing Street)

Boris Johnson will tell the British public to 'stay alert, control the virus and save lives' as the government drops the 'stay at home' message in the next phase of the war against coronavirus (pictured, outside No 10 Downing Street)

Boris Johnson will tell the British public to ‘stay alert, control the virus and save lives’ as the government drops the ‘stay at home’ message in the next phase of the war against coronavirus (pictured, outside No 10 Downing Street)

The PM is expected to drop the slogan 'stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives' in a televised address to the UK tonight at 7pm in an effort to reopen parts of the economy (pictured, new government pandemic slogan)

The PM is expected to drop the slogan 'stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives' in a televised address to the UK tonight at 7pm in an effort to reopen parts of the economy (pictured, new government pandemic slogan)

The PM is expected to drop the slogan ‘stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’ in a televised address to the UK tonight at 7pm in an effort to reopen parts of the economy (pictured, new government pandemic slogan)

The PM will tell the British public to 'stay alert, control the virus and save lives' as the government drops the 'stay at home' message in the next phase of the war against coronavirus

The PM will tell the British public to 'stay alert, control the virus and save lives' as the government drops the 'stay at home' message in the next phase of the war against coronavirus

A No 10 source said that Mr Johnson, who is facing calls from Tory MPs to steer Britain clear of an economic recession, is ‘proceeding with maximum caution and maximum conditionality’ (pictured, people by Tower Bridge, London) 

A further 346 coronavirus deaths were announced today, bringing the country's death toll to 31,587

A further 346 coronavirus deaths were announced today, bringing the country's death toll to 31,587

A further 346 coronavirus deaths were announced on Saturday, bringing the country’s official death toll to 31,587 

Matt Hancock’s Covid crisis ‘trace agents’ will have NO medical knowledge and earn just over the minimum wage 

Thousands of coronavirus  ‘contact tracers’ are only now being recruited by the Government – two weeks after the Health Secretary announced they would be hired.

Matt Hancock said his plan to employ 18,000 tracers, who will be tasked with ringing people who are newly confirmed with the virus to ask who they were recently in contact with, was a key part of tackling the pandemic.

Announcing the scheme in April, he said: ‘As we look ahead, this is critical to keep the virus under control.’

Public health experts say tracers will be essential to stop a second wave of infection after lockdown is relaxed and cannot be replaced by NHSX’s trial contact tracing app.

But The Mail on Sunday has discovered that public advertising for the 15,000 ‘trace agents’ forming the infantry of the force has only just begun. 

Harry Potter author JK Rowling 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. 

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. 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’.

However, there was praise for the new message from the Bruges Group think tank. It tweeted: ‘The Government’s new slogan is good. 

‘Green replaces red for a calmer feel. “Stay Alert” replaces “Stay Home” and underlines individual responsibility. “Control the Virus” is a positive message. 

‘It’s within our power to achieve.’

Mr Johnson is expected to announce tomorrow that England is on the verge of moving down to Level Three from its Level Four grading, in a sign that there is no significant increase in the Covid-19 infection rate. 

A No 10 source said that Mr Johnson, who is facing growing calls from Tory MPs to steer Britain clear of a severe economic recession, is ‘proceeding with maximum caution and maximum conditionality’.

The government’s road map for bringing the country out of lockdown will be published in a 50-page document tomorrow. It is understood that MPs will be briefed on the so-called ‘exit strategy’. 

The PM is also expected to say that social distancing rules will save livelihoods as well as lives. The change in messaging reflects concerns that Britain faces an economic contraction not felt in 300 years.   

Matt Hancock asked Boris Johnson to 'give him a break' after a recent bust-up between the pair over the Health Secretary's handling of the coronavirus outbreak

Matt Hancock asked Boris Johnson to 'give him a break' after a recent bust-up between the pair over the Health Secretary's handling of the coronavirus outbreak

Matt Hancock asked Boris Johnson to 'give him a break' after a recent bust-up between the pair over the Health Secretary's handling of the coronavirus outbreak

Matt Hancock asked Boris Johnson to 'give him a break' after a recent bust-up between the pair over the Health Secretary's handling of the coronavirus outbreak

Matt Hancock (right ) has asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) to ‘give him a break’ after a recent bust-up between the pair over the Health Secretary’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak

‘School prefect Hancock is living on borrowed time’ after clashes with Michael Gove, Rishi Sunak AND PM

Matt Hancock is living on ‘borrowed time’ as Health Secretary following clashes with the three most powerful members of the Government over the Covid crisis, the Mail on Sunday has been told.

Mr Hancock is understood to have pleaded ‘give me a break’ when Boris Johnson reprimanded him over the virus testing programme – leading to open questioning within Downing Street over Mr Hancock’s long-term political future. His run-in with Mr Johnson follows battles with both Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove over the best strategy for managing the pandemic.

Shortly after Mr Johnson returned to work at No 10, he and Mr Johnson had a tense exchange about the the Health Department’s ‘grip’ on the crisis, during which Mr Hancock said to the PM, in what has been described as a ‘petulant’ tone: ‘That’s not fair – give me a break.’

He is also being blamed in some government quarters – or scapegoated, according to his allies – for not moving quickly enough to do more to protect care homes.  

Whitehall officials knew as early as the first week of March that the projected death rate among the over-90s was expected to be as high as 50 per cent.

His broadcast will be his second national address of the crisis, and the first since he was hospitalised. Beforehand his televised address, he will chair a Cobra meeting with leaders of the devolved administrations and London Mayor Sadiq Khan. 

The change in messaging comes as the Johnson government’s united front cracks under the pressures of handling the coronavirus crisis, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock now at blows with the PM, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak. 

Mr Hancock urged the PM to ‘give me a break’ in a bust-up raising questions over the Minister’s Cabinet future.  

Mr Hancock’s spokesman said Ministers were ‘furious’ about the mistake with the goggles, which they said had been ordered by Labour in 2009. 

A Health Department source dubbed them ‘Gordon’s goggles’ and added they were bought against 2001 standards of protection which were superseded by the time they were purchased. ‘Even a decade on, we are still having to clear up Labour’s mess’, they added.

The latest PPE fiasco will be damaging to the Health Secretary, coming days after it emerged that surgical gowns ordered from Turkey and flown into the UK amid great fanfare did not all meet British safety standards.   

A source said tensions had run high in the run-up to the deadline for hitting the 100,00 tests a day target, but said ‘the PM was full of praise for his performance’. 

A No 10 source said: ‘This is a critical moment so, having assessed the evidence carefully, the Prime Minister will ask for the public resolve as we continue to do whatever is needed to defeat this devastating virus.’

Yesterday Mr Johnson begged the British public to stay indoors during the last days of full lockdown. 

Taking to Twitter, the PM told his followers: ‘Thank you for all you are doing to protect our NHS and save lives. This bank holiday weekend, please stay at home, so we don’t undo everything we’ve done so far.’ 

Yet people still poured into the nation’s beauty spots to soak up some bank holiday sunshine – including the PM who this morning strolled through St James’s Park, where he was accosted by a finger-jabbing passer-by. 

A member of the public stopped to give British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a talking to as he took a morning walk through St James's Park in London yesterday. He was carrying a reusable Costa coffee cup

A member of the public stopped to give British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a talking to as he took a morning walk through St James's Park in London yesterday. He was carrying a reusable Costa coffee cup

A member of the public stopped to give British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a talking to as he took a morning walk through St James’s Park in London yesterday. He was carrying a reusable Costa coffee cup 

Mr Johnson warned Britons that venturing out over the bank holiday weekend could 'undo everything that's been done so far'

Mr Johnson warned Britons that venturing out over the bank holiday weekend could 'undo everything that's been done so far'

Mr Johnson warned Britons that venturing out over the bank holiday weekend could ‘undo everything that’s been done so far’ 

Visitors walk through a busy Broadway Market in London despite Mr Johnson urging Britons to stay at home this weekend

Visitors walk through a busy Broadway Market in London despite Mr Johnson urging Britons to stay at home this weekend

Visitors walk through a busy Broadway Market in London despite Mr Johnson urging Britons to stay at home this weekend 

Parliament Square in Westminster witnessed huge crowds of cyclists as people enjoyed the hottest day of the year so far

Parliament Square in Westminster witnessed huge crowds of cyclists as people enjoyed the hottest day of the year so far

Parliament Square in Westminster witnessed huge crowds of cyclists as people enjoyed the hottest day of the year so far

Number 10 released a new graphic urging people to keep 2m (6ft 6in) apart

Number 10 released a new graphic urging people to keep 2m (6ft 6in) apart

A further 346 coronavirus deaths were announced on Saturday, bringing the country’s official death toll to 31,587 

Ministers fear that ‘The Blob’ – made up of political opponents, union barons and local government administrations – is colluding to sabotage the reopening of schools 

Ministers believe ‘The Blob’ – an army made up of political opponents and union barons – is colluding to politicise the coronavirus outbreak.

The accusation comes amid outrage over a threat by unions to block schools reopening unless their demands for extra money are met by Whitehall.

Last night the news sparked a furious backlash from academic experts and MPs.

And inside Downing Street there is mounting concern that Labour under Keir Starmer working with the party’s union allies and the devolved administrations, are co-ordinating their response to lifting the lockdown.  

It compounded existing accusations that the government has been sending mixed messages following a flurry of reports it is preparing to ditch its ‘stay at home’ slogan in the Sunday broadcast.

And further casting a cloud of a confusion, a second tweet from the official Downing Street account said: ‘If you are leaving the house this weekend you need to keep two metres apart from others.’

Mr Johnson was pictured swigging from a reusable Costa coffee cup on his daily walk through the park. 

As he marched to work, Mr Johnson was confronted by a man who appeared give him a piece of his mind, pointing a finger at the startled PM as a smiling woman looked on.  It is unclear what the man said and MailOnline has contacted No 10 for comment. 

Thousands of Britons joined Mr Johnson in hitting the country’s green spaces, but unlike the premier some were pictured sprawled out in groups sunbathing on what is expected to be the hottest day of the year so far.

Police in Brighton stopped cars on the A23 to prevent sun-worshipping covidiots away from the seaside, with locals cheering as tourists were turned away.

And the Coastguard said that on Friday it had the highest number of call-outs since lockdown began, with 97 incidents, 54 per cent more than the average of 63 recorded for the previous month. 

Residents jog and walk along the the Regents canal in London, where hundreds of people were out getting their exercise

Residents jog and walk along the the Regents canal in London, where hundreds of people were out getting their exercise

Residents jog and walk along the the Regents canal in London, where hundreds of people were out getting their exercise 

Cyclists were out in their droves on the Mall in London amid signs some lockdown restrictions could be softened

Cyclists were out in their droves on the Mall in London amid signs some lockdown restrictions could be softened

Cyclists were out in their droves on the Mall in London amid signs some lockdown restrictions could be softened 

Cyclists queuing at traffic lights entering Parliament Square as thousands of Britons enjoyed the sweltering temperatures

Cyclists queuing at traffic lights entering Parliament Square as thousands of Britons enjoyed the sweltering temperatures

Cyclists queuing at traffic lights entering Parliament Square as thousands of Britons enjoyed the sweltering temperatures 

Visitors enjoying views of the skyscrapers in the City of London from a closed off viewing area in Greenwich Park, London

Visitors enjoying views of the skyscrapers in the City of London from a closed off viewing area in Greenwich Park, London

Visitors enjoying views of the skyscrapers in the City of London from a closed off viewing area in Greenwich Park, London

Travellers to UK face two weeks in self-isolation

From June, all arrivals in the UK – including returning Britons – will be quarantined for 14 days and face £1,000 fines or deportation if they fail to do so.

The announcement of the new travel measures comes seven weeks into the nation-wide coronavirus lockdown.

Government officials are working to avoid a second wave of the bug, which has killed more than 31,000 people in the UK alone.

The regulations mean Britons hoping for a week in the sun in the summer months will have to book three-weeks off work to ensure they can isolate on their return.

Key workers and travellers from Ireland will be exempt from the quarantine, MailOnline understands.  

Travellers will have to fill in a digital form giving the address of where they will be in quarantine. This will then be checked at airports, ports and Eurostar stations, although it is not clear which agency will provide staff to do this or on what database the forms will be stored on.

The scheme will be enforced by spot checks on the addresses but ministers have not said whether this will involve the police, Border Force or NHS.

Although the rule-breaking signals compliance with lockdown is fraying, Mr Johnson has told Cabinet he will be proceeding with ‘maximum caution’ in order to avoid a second wave of deadly infections.   

Transport unions have threatened to derail any move to get too many people back onto trains and buses as chiefs have said they ‘will not compromise on the health, safety and livelihoods of our members’.

Teaching unions have sounded a similar warning relating to the phased return of schools.

Ministers have been urging the UK to stick with social distancing rules this weekend despite the sunny weather and to wait for the PM to set out his plan tomorrow. Mr Johnson tweeted: ‘Thank you for all you are doing to protect our NHS and save lives. This bank holiday weekend, please stay at home, so we don’t undo everything that’s been done so far.’

The PM also acknowledged the strain the lockdown has put on people’s mental health as he said it ‘has been a difficult time for many’. He told anyone who is struggling that ‘there is help available’. 

Ministers are thought to want to start sending primary schoolchildren back to classrooms in June. However, unions have said they will not sign off on the plans until a test and tracing system is fully operational.

The return of schools and childcare services will be key to restoring much of the economy because many workers with children will be unable to go back to work until education settings are up and running.  

MoS LAUNCHES £3MILLION FUND TO HELP SMALL FIRMS BEAT THE VIRUS

The Mail on Sunday today launches a £3 million support package to help small firms battle the coronavirus crisis.

The owner of the MoS, Daily Mail, Metro and the i is giving away £3,000 of advertising in its newspapers – and on Mail Online and metro.co.uk – to 1,000 small businesses.

The groundbreaking giveaway, launched in collaboration with the Federation of Small Businesses, will open for applications from Wednesday at grants.fsb.org.uk. 

It is The Mail on Sunday’s way of doing our bit to help firms that provide incomes for more than 17 million people and comes hot on the heels of the hugely successful Mail Force initiative. 

That charity, set up by MoS owner Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) and its partners, has already raised over £6 million to fly in millions of items of vital protective equipment for NHS staff and care workers.

Today, a survey by accountancy software giant Sage finds one in three firms expect sales to be 50 per cent lower after lockdown is eased. Separate research from legal firm Buckworths found a quarter of small firms do not think the Government’s existing support measures will be enough for them to survive.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: ‘Our members will be hugely grateful to The Mail on Sunday for this generous support. It’s fantastic.

‘The pandemic is likely to have an impact on businesses for months – if not years – to come and they’ll need a lot of help to get back on their feet. It won’t be enough to rely on word of mouth to attract new customers. 

‘We urge every eligible member to apply for this advertising giveaway.

‘We’re fighting a losing battle’: Hackney police admit defeat as sun-worshippers pack out parks and beaches on ‘hottest day of the year so far’ on last weekend of full lockdown

By Amelia Wynne and Joe Davies for MailOnline

Police today admitted they are ‘fighting a losing battle’ in the lockdown fight as sun-worshipping covidiots packed out parks and beaches on the hottest day of the year so far.

People were out in their droves as temperatures hit 26C (78.8F) on the South Coast, matching the 26C recorded in Treknow, in Cornwall, on Good Friday, making it hotter than Ibiza and St Tropez.

Hundreds flocked to London Fields where Hackney police said they were powerless to stop those out enjoying the sun from drinking and eating pizza.

The force tweeted a picture of the park and said: ‘Sadly we’re fighting a losing battle in the parks today. Literally hundreds of people sitting having pizza, beers, wines. 

‘As always a big thank you to those that are observing the guidelines.’

In scenes replicated around the country, the Coastguard said that on Friday it had the highest number of call-outs since lockdown began, with 97 incidents, 54 per cent more than the average of 63 for the month. 

Traffic cops in Brighton are stopping cars at the end of the A23 which leads to the south coast seaside mecca and officers have fined visitors trying to visit for the bank holiday.  

Scroll down for video.

Hackney police says it is 'fighting a losing battle' as hundreds of people flock to London parks, including London Fields (pictured), to eat pizza, drink wine and eat ice cream on Saturday

Hackney police says it is 'fighting a losing battle' as hundreds of people flock to London parks, including London Fields (pictured), to eat pizza, drink wine and eat ice cream on Saturday

Hackney police says it is ‘fighting a losing battle’ as hundreds of people flock to London parks, including London Fields (pictured), to eat pizza, drink wine and eat ice cream on Saturday

A police checkpoint turns away cars trying to get into Brighton as bored families break coronavirus lockdown rules

A police checkpoint turns away cars trying to get into Brighton as bored families break coronavirus lockdown rules

A police checkpoint turns away cars trying to get into Brighton as bored families break coronavirus lockdown rules

Covidiots flock to Burgess Park in South London, ignoring social distancing advice and packing out pathways and benches

Covidiots flock to Burgess Park in South London, ignoring social distancing advice and packing out pathways and benches

Covidiots flock to Burgess Park in South London, ignoring social distancing advice and packing out pathways and benches

Families with young children queue for ice cream near Greenwich Park in London on Saturday as the ice cream seller dons a face mask despite customers lining up shoulder-to-shoulder

Families with young children queue for ice cream near Greenwich Park in London on Saturday as the ice cream seller dons a face mask despite customers lining up shoulder-to-shoulder

Families with young children queue for ice cream near Greenwich Park in London on Saturday as the ice cream seller dons a face mask despite customers lining up shoulder-to-shoulder

Police officers on patrol in a South London park are exasperated as they ask sunbathers and people enjoying picnics to leave

Police officers on patrol in a South London park are exasperated as they ask sunbathers and people enjoying picnics to leave

Police officers on patrol in a South London park are exasperated as they ask sunbathers and people enjoying picnics to leave

An ice cream seller takes orders from behind a plastic screen while wearing a face mask as crowds line up behind customers

An ice cream seller takes orders from behind a plastic screen while wearing a face mask as crowds line up behind customers

An ice cream seller takes orders from behind a plastic screen while wearing a face mask as crowds line up behind customers

Police had to clear beaches at Southend-on-Sea, Essex, after sun-seekers flocked to the coast to enjoy the warm water

Police had to clear beaches at Southend-on-Sea, Essex, after sun-seekers flocked to the coast to enjoy the warm water

Police had to clear beaches at Southend-on-Sea, Essex, after sun-seekers flocked to the coast to enjoy the warm water

A man is stopped by police officers on the beach in Essex after ignoring the government's guidelines to stay at home

A man is stopped by police officers on the beach in Essex after ignoring the government's guidelines to stay at home

A man is stopped by police officers on the beach in Essex after ignoring the government’s guidelines to stay at home

Lockdown flouters are removed from the beach in Southend-on-Sea after ignoring the government's advice to stay indoors

Lockdown flouters are removed from the beach in Southend-on-Sea after ignoring the government's advice to stay indoors

Lockdown flouters are removed from the beach in Southend-on-Sea after ignoring the government’s advice to stay indoors

Hundreds of people flocked to the Essex seaside town in groups clearly flouting the government's lockdown guidance

Hundreds of people flocked to the Essex seaside town in groups clearly flouting the government's lockdown guidance

Hundreds of people flocked to the Essex seaside town in groups clearly flouting the government’s lockdown guidance

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