Clap for carers: Once again people take to streets to thank NHS heroes

21 May 2020, 20:03

NHS workers participate in a national "clap for carers"
NHS workers participate in a national "clap for carers". Picture: Getty

By Matt Drake

The people of the UK have come out to clap once again for NHS, social care and other vital workers working to beat coronavirus.

Clap For Our Carers continues to gather a strong response with people taking to the streets, windows and balconies for the ninth week in a row.

The weekly tradition has given communities a sense of togetherness across the UK.

This week comes amid a heatwave across the UK.

In today's press briefing, Matt Hancock urged people to maintain social distancing amid fears people will flout the rules and head to the beach.

Writing in The Guardian today, an anonymous doctor complained about the weekly tradition.

They claimed it was "patronising" as the Government had underfunded the health service and have drafted Bills and proposals to clamp down on immigration.

NHS workers hold up a sign thanking Liverpool ahead of a national "clap for carers"
NHS workers hold up a sign thanking Liverpool ahead of a national "clap for carers". Picture: Getty

The Immigration Bill proposes a salary threshold for skilled migrant workers of £25,600, with concessions for those applying for jobs where there are staff shortages, but the Government said it would not offer work visas to low-skilled migrant workers.

Home secretary Priti Patel was asked whether the world has changed since the Government first pledged to bring in the Immigration Bill.

She was also asked if there was a realisation that some of those who could end up being barred from working in the country as a result of the proposed law change are among those applauded as part of "Clap for Carers" every Thursday.

She told LBC: "No, that's not the case at all.

"The Immigration Bill and the points-based system absolutely, this is what we said we would deliver for the British public and we intend to do that.

"The world has changed. However, what hasn't changed is our determination to open our country up to the world, being open and global Britain, and also to treat people fairly and equally.

"We want to end this discrimination between EU citizens and non-EU citizens that actually exists in the system right now. We want to treat everybody fairly."

Asked if someone's salary could be a guide to their value to society, Priti Patel told LBC: "It's not about a salary guide at all. We've always said this is about skills and the points-based skills system is about people who basically have the skills that they can contribute to support our recovery post-Covid as well."

Boris Johnson announced today that overseas NHS staff and care workers would no longer have to pay a visa surcharge.