A series of new social media ads which aim to shock Britons into staying locked in their homes and avoid interacting with other people claim that buying a cup of coffee could “cost lives.”
The ads were released on Thursday, with one Facebook meme labelled “Don’t let a coffee cost lives.”
“Unnecessary social contact puts you and others at risk. If you are buying takeaway food or drinks, remember: wash your hands, wear a face-covering indoors and stay 2 metres apart from others,” the post shared by the official UK Government Facebook page claimed:
Another posted on Twitter by the prime minister’s account claimed that “catch-ups” with friends “costs lives,” adding, “Meeting others unnecessarily could be the link in a chain of transmission that has a vulnerable person at the end. Please, stay at home this weekend”:
Meeting others unnecessarily could be the link in a chain of transmission that has a vulnerable person at the end.
Please, stay at home this weekend. pic.twitter.com/c6YmFeccdX
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) January 14, 2021
Both images are tinted with red and yellow to affect warning or hazard — i.e., create fear — with a government source telling the Times on Friday that the purpose is to spread the government’s message to “follow the rules by covering your face, washing your hands and making space.”
The focus on Britons buying coffees or seeing friends came a week after media attention was drawn to the case of two women who were surrounded by police after pulling up at a nature reserve, read their rights, and fined £200 for breaching coronavirus regulations.
The two women allegedly had not followed the spirit of “local” exercise by travelling a mere five miles to a beauty spot for some fresh air, with officers telling them that their coffees they were carrying were also not allowed because it constituted a “picnic.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock enthusiastically backed Derbyshire Police for fining the women, claiming that officers were doing “an absolutely brilliant job.”
“I am absolutely going to back the police,” he said, alleging that “every” alleged “flex” of the strict rules “can be fatal.” The remarks proved an embarrassment for the government when days later, the force apologised to the two women and rescinded the fines:
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Predicts Brits ‘Choosing’ to Mask Forever, Regular Vaccines https://t.co/4igWlUhLdt
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 15, 2021
Imperial College London epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday that some measures could last until the Summer, and lifting them would only be a “gradual process to the Autumn.”
Ferguson — considered the architect of the first Chinese coronavirus lockdown — was forced to resign from his senior government advisory role in disgrace after it was revealed that the married epidemiologist had invited his lover to his house twice, breaking his own lockdown rules. His opinions have come into prominence again in recent months, and he is listed on the government website as a participant of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
This week, Home Secretary Priti Patel revealed that police had handed out across the whole of the UK 45,000 fines related to covid restrictions between March 27 and December 21.
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