United Kingdom

Landmarks across the UK light up blue in tribute to coronavirus victims

Silence fell across the nation tonight as Britons remembered those who died during the coronavirus pandemic while monuments across the country were lit up in NHS blue.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among those due to take part in country-wide event, with a candle planned to be lit at his official residence at 9pm, ahead of the National Health Service's 72nd anniversary on Sunday.

A nationwide round of applause is set to take place on Sunday evening to mark the NHS's milestone. 

Landmarks including the London Eye, the Shard and Windsor Castle were lit up in blue and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rev Justin Welby, lit a candle of remembrance in Canterbury Cathedral.

Mr Johnson will meet NHS workers in the Number 10 garden on Sunday afternoon, and, speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Friday, he urged the public to clap for 'those who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to help the nation get through this pandemic'.

Silence fell across the nation tonight as Britons remembered those who died during the coronavirus pandemic while monuments across the nation were lit up in NHS blue. Pictured: Downing Street

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among those due to take part in country-wide event, with a candle planned to be lit at his official residence at 9pm, ahead of the National Health Service's 72nd anniversary on Sunday. Pictures showed a Downing Street worker bringing an pre-lit candle outside

Landmarks including the London Eye (pictured), the Shard and Windsor Castle were lit up in blue in tribute to the NHS tonight

A man takes a picture on the Millennium Bridge as the Shard is lit up in blue in support of the National Health Service 

The Grand Brighton hotel is lit up with blue lights as part of the 'Light It Blue' campaign for the NHS anniversary on Sunday

Mr Johnson will meet NHS workers in the Number 10 garden on Sunday afternoon. Pictured: The Grand Brighton hotel is lit up with blue lights

Windsor Castle, where Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is living due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is pictured illuminated blue on Saturday evening

The nationwide clap follows the success of the weekly Clap For Carers during the coronavirus outbreak and it is hoped that the applause, which is planned for 5pm on Sunday, will become an annual tradition.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said he hopes the public will use the anniversary as an opportunity to 'say a heartfelt thank you' to hospital staff.

Sir Simon said: 'This year has been the most challenging in NHS history, with staff displaying extraordinary dedication, skill and compassion to care for the 100,000 patients with Covid-19 who needed specialist hospital treatment, and many others besides.

'During this testing time our nurses, doctors, physios, pharmacists and countless more colleagues were sustained by the support of the public, not least through the weekly applause for key workers.

'No health service, not even the NHS, could have coped alone with this coronavirus pandemic.'

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rev Justin Welby, also lit a candle of remembrance in Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said he hopes the public will use the anniversary as an opportunity to 'say a heartfelt thank you' to hospital staff. Pictured: Downing Street is lit up in blue

The Grand Brighton hotel is lit up ahead of the 72nd anniversary of the formation of the National Health Service on Sunday

A candle is seen on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street as its lit up in blue ahead of the 72nd anniversary of the formation of the NHS

Chief executive for NHS Wales Dr Andrew Goodall said Clap For Carers was 'very much embraced' in Wales, and he is 'delighted' to support it.

The nationwide clap has been organised following a letter from the Together coalition, in which influential figures including Sir Simon and Mr Welby voiced their support for making July 5 an official day of commemoration.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said NHS staff need a pay boost in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

He made the call during a virtual rally marking the 72 years of the NHS in which he praised health service staff for their efforts during the pandemic.

Sir Keir added: 'The pride and the thanks that we have for the NHS which is always there, is reinforced this year by everything that all the staff in the NHS have done in relation to the Covid crisis.

The Round Tower at Windsor Castle looked majestic as it was lit up in blue ahead of the 72nd anniversary of the formation of the NHS

'Of course, we're not through that, and it will be our NHS heroes and the bravery of what they do which will get us through whatever comes next.

'That's why it's very important that we don't just say thanks, but recognise in a meaningful way what the NHS has done.

'And that's why Labour supports those calling on the Government today to make an immediate commitment to talks on a pay rise for NHS workers.'

The comments come after unions representing more than 1.3 million nurses, cleaners, physiotherapists, healthcare assistants, dieticians, radiographers, porters, midwives, paramedics and other NHS employees have written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Prime Minister calling for pay talks to start soon.

Football news:

Messi sleeps on an anti-coronavirus mattress. The tissue is coated with nanoparticles that destroy the virus
Andrea Agnelli: Ronaldo will stay at Juventus. He's the mainstay of the club
Mbappe got into PSG's yawn for the match with Atalanta in the Champions League
Guardiola again played against Madrid without strikers. Zidane did not find an answer
Gattuso on the match with Barca: Napoli will climb Everest
Lampard about the game with Bayern Munich: the History of the games, when everything changed. Chelsea needs to be trusted
Zinedine Zidane: I am the coach of Real Madrid until something extraordinary happens