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Covid Lockdown UK: Boris Johnson to unveil new ‘take the next step safely’ slogan on Monday

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Boris Johnson will unveil new ‘take the next step safely’ slogan to replace ‘stay at home’ order in first appearance at Downing Street’s new £2.6m press briefing room on Monday

  • Boris Johnson will make his debut appearance in Downing Street briefing room
  • PM will use the new press room in Number Nine Downing Street on Monday
  • Meanwhile, the PM is said to be preparing to announce new coronavirus slogan 

Boris Johnson will make his debut appearance in Downing Street’s newly-completed White House-style press briefing room next week as the PM prepares to unveil a new Government coronavirus slogan. 

Downing Street has confirmed the work on its £2.6million media room in Number Nine has now been completed.  

Mr Johnson will use the room for the first time on Monday as he hosts a press conference to update the nation on his lockdown exit roadmap. 

The new Number Nine Downing Street press briefing room will be used for the first time next week

The new Number Nine Downing Street press briefing room will be used for the first time next week

Mr Johnson will use the room for the first time on Monday as he hosts a press conference to update the nation on his lockdown roadmap

Mr Johnson will use the room for the first time on Monday as he hosts a press conference to update the nation on his lockdown roadmap

The new briefing room in Number Nine Downing Street has drawn comparisons with the daily press briefing room in the White House

The new briefing room in Number Nine Downing Street has drawn comparisons with the daily press briefing room in the White House

How the Government’s Covid slogans have changed

‘Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’

The Government’s initial slogan was introduced when Boris Johnson first put the country into lockdown in March last year. 

It was often repeated at the start and end of No10 press conferences as ministers tried to hammer home the importance of staying at home. 

‘Stay alert, control the virus, save lives’

Ministers changed their main Covid-19 slogan in May last year as they began to ease lockdown restrictions.

However, the new message was criticised by some for being vague.

‘Hands, face, space’

A spike in coronavirus cases in July last year in some places in England prompted the Government to impose local lockdowns. 

The PM’s decision to ‘pump the brakes’ coincided with a new message to people to frequently wash their hands, cover their face and keep their distance from others. 

‘Let’s take this next step safely’ 

The PM will reportedly announce a new slogan on Monday ahead of the expected end of the ‘stay at home’ order on March 29. 

Government guidance will change to ‘stay local’ with the latest slogan designed to stress the cautious approach being taken by ministers to loosening restrictions.

The room will then be used to host all future Government coronavirus press briefings. 

News of Mr Johnson’s debut in the room came amid reports that he is planning to ditch the ‘Stay Alert, Control The Virus, Save Lives’ slogan. 

Ministers have signed off on a new ‘let’s take this next step safely’ slogan which will appear on Government adverts when the stay at home order is dropped from March 29, according to The Sun. 

Labour previously branded the hi-tech refurbishment in Number Nine Downing Street a ‘vanity project’.  

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman told reporters at lunchtime: ‘Work on the briefing room in Number Nine Downing Street is now complete, so going forward all future coronavirus press conferences will take place over in Number Nine.

‘They will begin on Monday when the Prime Minister does a press conference in there.’

Mr Johnson’s press secretary Allegra Stratton said the Government still planned to go ahead with daily televised briefings – the concept that was the main driver behind creating the new media space.

The launch of the televised briefings had been anticipated as early as the autumn, but in January Number 10 said they were being delayed as ministers planned to hold regular press conferences during the lockdown.

Lobby correspondents, the political reporters based in Parliament, currently have daily briefings with the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman, or his deputy – both civil servants.

But under proposals set out in July last year, an afternoon session will be broadcast live from Number Nine Downing Street, led by Ms Stratton.

As a politically appointed special adviser, rather than an impartial civil servant, she will be able to take aim at opponents as well as defend the Government’s actions.

Ms Stratton said: ‘Yes, we are (intending to go ahead with the televised briefings) but we just don’t know yet when. It is all about hitting milestones in the roadmap.’

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