Government launches new ‘FACTS’ Covid-19 awareness campaign

The First Minister announced the fresh PR blitz as Scotland moves to phase two of its lockdown route map.

A new public health awareness campaign on coronavirus in Scotland called ‘FACTS’ has been launched.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the fresh PR blitz as the country shifts to phase two of its lockdown exit strategy.

People will be allowed to meet up to two households at a time outdoors, while those living alone can form an “extended household” with one other household.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s Friday briefing, Sturgeon said the new messaging is a result of lockdown measures becoming more complicated as restrictions are eased.

‘FACTS’ is an acronym for:

  • Face coverings in enclosed spaces
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
  • Two-metre social distancing
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you develop coronavirus symptoms

Face coverings will be mandatory on all public transport from Monday, while it is still only recommended in shops.

The First Minister said the virus can continue to be suppressed even while relaxing measures if the public follows the ‘FACTS’ guidelines.

Sturgeon said: “Each letter of that words FACTS should serve to remind us all of the key measures we need to comply with…

“Remember these ‘FACTS’ and that will help all of us stay safe and it will ensure all of us can help protect each other as well.”

She added: “We see the virus receding so I think all of us have a very obvious and human and understandable frustration about still having to live under some restrictions, and we think ‘why can’t we go back to normal even more quickly?’

“But the thing is we can’t afford at this stage to be complacent, because the virus is still out there, it hasn’t gone away and as we gradually remove the restrictions that have kept it under control, the risk is it starts to circulate again.

“That is why we need to proceed with purpose – I want to keep us firmly going in the right direction, but also with a bit of caution.”

But the FM said she is “more optimistic than I have been in a long time that we are now firmly on the track to getting normality back into our lives”.

National clinical director Jason Leitch, who will front the new awareness campaign, urged people to “choose to keep doing the right thing”.

“Constant vigilance is the only way we can keep the virus under control,” he said.

Prof Leitch said communicating effectively with the public is considered by the World Health Organisation to be as important to handling a pandemic as public health measures like infection control, preventative measures and testing.

As part of phase two, high street shops will be able to reopen from June 29 provided they have social distancing and outdoor entrances and exits.

Many staff members will also be returning to work at factories, construction sites, universities, colleges, zoos and other outdoor attractions in the coming days and weeks.

It comes as the Scottish Government updated its chief Covid-19 public health slogan from the old “stay home” message to: “Stay safe, protect others, save lives.”

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