Boris Johnson pays tribute to Covid victims ahead of national day of reflection two years on from first lockdown

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Boris Johnson has paid tributes to the “heroic efforts” of NHS staff, while also paying tribute to everyone who has died during the pandemic.

Mr Johnson’s comments come on the second anniversary of the first national lockdown, with the country set to pause on Wednesday to remember those who have died.

A minute’s silence will take place at midday, while people are encouraged to shine a light of display flowers from their window at 8pm.

The day of reflection is being supported by more than 350 organisations across the country.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
Mr Johnson has hailed the "heroic efforts" of NHS staff throughout the pandemic
Mr Johnson has hailed the "heroic efforts" of NHS staff throughout the pandemic

The Prime Minister said those who have died “will never be out of our hearts and minds.”

He added: “Those lost to Covid will never be out of our hearts and minds, and today we reflect as a nation.

“The toll this pandemic has taken across the globe is immeasurable. The National Day of Reflection is a chance to come together, mourn and offer our collective support and sympathies to all those grieving.

“It’s also a chance to thank everyone who cared for us throughout.

“I saw first-hand the heroic efforts of NHS staff and I pay tribute to them, the grief counsellors, charity workers and friends and families, as we pause to remember those we have lost.”

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the spirit and generosity shown by charities, community and faith groups “are exemplary examples of British values”.

He said his thoughts are with those who lost loved ones, adding: “As we emerge from the pandemic, we must not forget the long tail of grief it leaves, and the profound impact it has had on us all.

“For so many, life is now permanently altered, and we won’t forget it.”

Mr Johnson and Sir Keir will be marking the anniversary privately, while Scotland’s First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, Wales’ Mark Drakeford and the Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann are also supporting the day.