SUSSEX MPs have blasted Boris Johnson’s Sunday night update on the UK lockdown for being confusing and ambiguous.

Hove MP Peter Kyle warned that there could be a “chaotic lifting” of restrictions after the Prime Minister outlined his plans to put Britain on a path back to normality.

This included a change of tack, replacing the seven-week old “stay home” slogan for a new mantra of stay alert – a move which baffled many.

The Argus:

Those who cannot work from home – in sectors such as manufacturing, food production and construction – are being urged to return to work.

Garden centres will also reopen and people will be allowed outdoors for unlimited exercise in pursuits such as tennis, golf, lawn bowls and basketball.

But they must keep two metres away from other people and only exercise with their own household.

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People in England should also wear face coverings in enclosed places, such as in some shops and on public transport, Mr Johnson said.

People can meet with a person from another household outdoors as long as social distancing is maintained. It can be one person one day and a different person the next.

Driving to destinations for outdoor walks and exercise is also permitted, but fines for those who break the rules will rise to £100 in England.

Mr Kyle had cautionary words over the Government’s handling of the lockdown easing.

The Argus:

He said: “I’m really worried that the confusion and ambiguity will lead to a chaotic lifting of some restrictions.

“Normally 35,000 people leave our city by train every day for work and thousands more move around by bus. Telling people to work but avoid public transport puts many in a really difficult position.

“Changing the slogan that has led our national response is a mistake that worries me.

“Put simply, how will a police officer know if someone’s being ‘alert’ or not?

“The Government have set an almost impossible task for police in the coming weeks and they have my real sympathy.

The Argus:

“We were told at the start of lockdown that it would only be eased once testing and ‘track and trace’ systems were widespread. They aren’t, yet the Government is ploughing on.

“I have deep concerns about the chaotic way Government is managing this crisis and the lifting of lockdown.

“I know residents will continue to act responsibly and I will carry on doing all I can to help the Government get it right.”

The Argus:

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas also appealed to the Prime Minister for clarity.

She said: “Boris blusters through his pre-recorded message, yet again avoiding scrutiny.

“And frankly I’m none the wiser; muddled messaging, vacuous slogans, dangerous confusion. Pretty much business as usual then.”

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. To donate visit