Edited by Eva Ogiermann
[Pragmatics and Society 14:2] 2023
► pp. 334–357
This paper investigates advice offered on closure signs displayed on businesses in Greece and the UK during the first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic. By scrutinising signs photographed in London and in Athens, as well as speeches delivered by the British and Greek prime ministers at the time of the closures, our analysis shows how business owners pass on government instructions to their customers. The study thus makes an original contribution to research on the effectiveness of risk communication, revealing that while businesses in both countries supported the implementation of containment measures, the Greek signs replicated governmental messages more closely. At the same time, the analysis of advice offered by business owners to their customers in an unprecedented context of a global health crisis provides new insights into research on this speech act.