SCOTTISH Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has “no idea” what the UK Government’s new lockdown advice actually means.
Reports emerged on Sunday of a change to the UK Government’s message over the lockdown, ahead of the Prime Minister laying out a “road map” to a new normality.
The previous slogan, “stay home, protect the NHS, save lives” was replaced with the new “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the first she had been made aware of the change was through Sunday newspapers, adding that messaging from the Scottish Government would not change.
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Speaking on the BBC’s Politics Scotland on Sunday, Freeman said the Scottish Government was not consulted on the change.
She said: “That is not a change that we would agree with. I think the First Minister was really clear last week that the ‘stay at home’ message was the right message and if I’m perfectly frank, I have no idea what ‘stay alert’ actually means.”
Freeman went on to say that the population will be “at a disadvantage” when adhering to the guidance if communications from the Government are not clear.
She added: “We’re asking the public to do a very great deal here and the least we can do is be consistent and clear in the message that we’re sending and ‘stay at home’ is the right message.”
Downing Street’s messaging has also been criticised by several other SNP MPs, including Westminster leader Ian Blackford.
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Earlier on Sunday, during an appearance on BBC Breakfast, national clinical director Jason Leitch said the Scottish Government had not been made aware of the slogan, nor had it been informed of what the Prime Minister would announce in his address.
He also urged “maximum caution” when considering the next steps of the lockdown.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has also confirmed that the stay at home message will remain in place in Wales.