COVID-19: UK public applaud NHS staff – while landmarks turn blue

Joint events staged because ‘they need to know we are grateful’

Wembley Stadium is among the landmarks lit up in blue. Picture: PA 

People across the country took part in a mass round of applause for nurses and other front-line NHS staff, in praise of their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Clap For Our Carers initiative saw residents applauding from their doorsteps, windows and balconies at 8pm on Thursday night, with some venturing into the streets, and motorists joining in by tooting their horns.

The organisers said the event was staged because ‘during these unprecedented times, they need to know we are grateful’.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were among those applauding the NHS, with a video of the three young royals clapping posted on social media.

The caption read: 'To all the doctors, nurses, carers, GPs, pharmacists, volunteers and other NHS staff working tirelessly to help those affected by COVID-19: thank you.'

TV presenter Kate Garraway was among the famous names backing the event. 

The UK is taking its lead from other European countries in lockdown, where people have gathered nightly at their balconies and windows to cheer and applaud healthcare staff.

Landmarks lit up to honour NHS workers

Wembley Stadium and the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, and Lincoln Cathedral, were among the landmarks lit up in blue as part of another NHS appreciation campaign.

The #lightitblue campaign has been organised by members of the events and entertainment industry to show appreciation for NHS staff.

A thank you to people ‘risking their own health to help others’

Ahead of the event, campaign co-founders Gary White and Chuck Crampton said the participating venues would use LED technology to create a flash of blue on facades and screens.

‘The best thing we can do – apart from staying at home – is to use our skills and networks to say thank you to everyone who is supporting the NHS and risking their own health to help others during this pandemic,’ they said in a statement.

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