Coronavirus lockdown: people in Europe take to balconies to applaud healthcare staff

Citizens gather every night to show appreciation for nurses and others on COVID-19 front line

People in Spain applaud healthcare staff from their balconies Picture: Shutterstock

Nurses and other front-line healthcare workers in countries where people are living under lockdown are receiving nightly applause in appreciation for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spain, Italy and France are on lockdown, with people confined to their homes, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The World Health Organization has warned that Europe is now the epicentre of the pandemic.

Video shared on Twitter by a nurse in Northern Ireland

People in European cities have been taking to their balconies and windows to cheer and applaud healthcare staff, following calls on social media.

Northern Ireland interim clinical care manager and emergency nurse Roisin Devlin shared footage her sister Emer Brady recorded from her balcony in Barcelona over the weekend.

Ms Devlin wrote: ‘The streets are empty but people gather every night to applaud the healthcare staff. So to all my colleagues, take a bow – you deserve it.’

People on coronavirus lockdown are finding ways to socialise

People are using social media to post videos from Italy and other countries showing people applauding healthcare workers, playing music, singing and socialising from their balconies.

In Spain, citizens are barred from leaving home except for work or to buy essential supplies and medicines, while in France, non-essential places such as restaurants, cafes and cinemas are closed and food shops remain open.

In Italy, restaurants, cafes, museums and all shops except pharmacies and food stores are closed, and strict restrictions have been placed on personal movement during the nationwide lockdown.

Thousands sign letter of thanks for NHS staff

Meanwhile in the UK, almost 100,000 people have signed an online letter thanking NHS staff for their care.

The message reads: ‘We are so grateful to you because we know it might feel challenging, and you might be under even more pressure.

‘So, to every NHS staff reading this message – nurses, doctors, porters, cleaners, paramedics, receptionists – we want to say a huge thank you.

‘We appreciate and value your bravery and commitment to taking care of us when we need it most.’

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