Minute’s Silence UK: What time is silence to mark year of lockdown & remember those lost | UK | News
On March 23, 2020 the Prime Minister first introduced lockdown measures in order to tackle the growing threat of coronavirus around the globe. A year on and lockdown measures are still in effect in the UK, with some light at the end of the tunnel in Boris Johnson’s roadmap.
Today Mr Johnson pledged to end lockdown restrictions “once and for all” as the UK marks the anniversary of the first national lockdown.
The Prime Minister offered his “sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones” and praised the “great spirit” displayed ahead of the nation pausing in remembrance today.
He also praised those who developed and rolled out vaccines, parents who homeschooled their children and the public who endured social distancing.
“It’s because of every person in this country that lives have been saved, our NHS was protected, and we have started on our cautious road to easing restrictions once and for all,” he said in a statement.
Read More: Prince Charles urges nation to ‘never forget’ the lives lost to Covid
What time is the minute’s silence today?
The nation will take part in a minute’s silence at 12pm today, to mark a year since lockdown restrictions began and to remember those lost to COVID-19.
Britons are also being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps at 8pm with phones, candles and torches to create a “beacon of remembrance”.
More than 126,000 people have died from coronavirus in the UK since the pandemic began.
Mr Johnson said the last year had taken a “huge toll on us all” and urged everyone to reflect on ”one of the most difficult in our country’s history”.
The PM has said he will observe the minute’s silence privately.
Mr Johnson said: “The last 12 months has taken a huge toll on us all, and I offer my sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones.
“Today, the anniversary of the first lockdown is an opportunity to reflect on the past year – one of the most difficult in our country’s history.
“We should also remember the great spirit shown by our nation over this past year. We have all played our part, whether it’s working on the front line as a nurse or carer, working on vaccine development and supply, helping to get that jab into arms, homeschooling your children, or just by staying at home to prevent the spread of the virus.
“It’s because of every person in this country that lives have been saved, our NHS was protected, and we have started on our cautious road to easing restrictions once and for all.”
Also thanking Britons for their “resourcefulness” and “dedication” was Prince Charles, who urged Britons to remember those lost.
In a video message to mark the National Day of Reflection, Prince Charles said: “We have all been inspired by the resourcefulness we have witnessed, humbled by the dedication shown by so many, and moved, beyond words, by the sacrifices we have seen.
“We are emerging from this time with a renewed confidence in one another and with a strengthened faith in our society – richly diverse in its many communities and cultures, but united in its commitment to the common good and the welfare of others, particularly those most vulnerable.
“As we do so, it is right that we pause to remember those whose lives have been so tragically cut short.”
Doctors, teachers and nurses are calling on Boris Johnson to formally recognise an annual “Covid Memorial Day” paying tribute to the efforts of frontline workers during the pandemic.
They are among those backing a cross-party campaign for a minute’s silence every year on March 23 to remember the lives lost on the anniversary of the first UK-wide lockdown.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, MPs said the nation “must remember the lives lost and lives changed with dignity, and commemorate the efforts of our frontline and key workers with pride”.
Schools, workplaces and public venues would hold a silence at noon every year, while wreaths would be laid at a new coronavirus memorial monument on Whitehall under the plans.
More than 50 MPs and peers, including Tory MP Dr Dan Poulter, signed the letter organised by Layla Moran, the MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus.
Separately the Royal College of Nursing, the Local Government Association and the NASUWT teacher’s trade union backed the initiative.
British Medical Association council chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “Crucially, this day should be marked in history to ensure that we never take for granted our health service and are constantly progressing and learning lessons that will serve us well in the future.”