Britain to fall silent at midday to remember Covid-19 victims

23 March 2021, 07:25 | Updated: 23 March 2021, 07:47

Britain will fall silent in memory of those lost to Covid
Britain will fall silent in memory of those lost to Covid. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Britiain will fall silent at midday today to remember those lost to the Covid-19 pandemic on the day of the anniversary of the first national lockdown.

Prominent buildings and landmarks throughout the UK will be illuminated as part of the national day of reflection, including the Kelpies, Wallace Monument and Ness Bridge.

People are being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps with phones, candles and torches to signify a "beacon of remembrance".

Read more: Lockdown anniversary - PM praises UK's 'great spirit' through Covid pandemic

End of life charity Marie Curie is organising the event, which is being backed by more than 100 organisations, including the emergency services, businesses, charities and community groups.

With the official death toll passing 126,172, Boris Johnson has warned a third wave of Covid-19 cases being seen in France and Italy could "wash up on our shores as well".

Doctors, teachers and nurses are calling on the Prime Minister 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".

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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."