People across the country will hold a minute’s silence today to observe the one-year anniversary of the first lockdown beginning in the UK.
On 23 March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Britons that they “must stay at home” as the UK’s first Coronavirus lockdown got underway. One year on, tough restrictions on people’s lives remain in the UK and around much of the world, and over 126,000 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 in the UK according to official data.
The minute’s silence is part of a National Day of Reflection, planned by Marie Curie and backed by the Government. People are being encouraged to reflect on the past year through a minute’s silence at midday, and then again on their doorsteps at 8pm while shining a light.
Ahead of the minute’s silence being observed in the Houses of Parliament, Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle said;
“None of us has escaped the ordeal of Covid-19 – from the shock of having our liberty taken away, to the heartbreak of losing someone we loved.
“So, a year on, it is right that we take a moment to reflect on what we as a nation have been through; that we pay tribute to the many lives lost and the families that mourn them and we say a big ‘thank you’ to our NHS staff who have worked so tirelessly on the frontline caring for people in need.”
The minute’s silence is due to take place in the House of Commons and the House of Lords at midday. A number of virtual events are also expected to take place across the country as part of the National Day of Reflection.
Many charities, schools and workplaces have announced plans to observe the day and a number of key attractions will be lit up at night to mark the day.