TODAY has been a national day of reflection to remember all those whose lives have been lost due to Covid-19.
And as the day drew to a close communities across the country took part in a candle tribute at 8pm.
People stood on their doorsteps with candles, torches or lit-up phones to signify a “beacon of remembrance”. And several major buildings across the UK also lit up to mark the anniversary.
London’s skyline turned yellow with landmarks including the London Eye, Trafalgar Square and Wembley Stadium lighting up at nightfall.
Elsewhere in the the UK, Cardiff Castle and Belfast City Hall, churches and cathedrals tolled bells, lit thousands of candles and offer prayers.
According to the latest weekly figures from the Office for National Statistics more than 146,000 people have died in the UK with with Covid-19 listed on their death certificate during the pandemic.
Prime Minister’s statement
Meanwhile Mr Johnson took to national television at 5pm to address the nation about the pandemic.
He said: “When I asked you to go into lockdown exactly a year ago it seemed incredible that in the 21st Century this was the only way to fight a new respiratory disease – to stay at home, to avoid human contact, to shun so many of the patterns of behaviour that are most natural and obvious to all of us.
“But we did it together to protect the NHS, to save lives. And for the entire British people it has been an epic of endurance and privation, of children’s birthday parties cancelled, of weddings postponed, of family gatherings of all kinds simply deleted from the diary.
“And worst of all in that time, we’ve suffered so many losses, and for so many people our grief has been made more acute because we have not been able to see our loved ones in their final days. To hold their hands or even to mourn them together.
“And at the right moment, we will come together as a country to build a fitting and a permanent memorial to the loved ones we have lost and to commemorate this whole period.
“For month after month our collective fight against Coronavirus was like fighting in the dark against a callous and invisible enemy, until science helped us to turn the lights on and to gain the upper hand.
“And I want to renew my thanks to everyone responsible for the astounding vaccine roll-out which has enabled us to protect more than 28 million people across the whole of the United Kingdom with a first jab and administer more than 30 million doses in total.
“And I want to thank everybody for their courage – your courage, discipline and patience. When people come to describe this epidemic to future generations, we’ll tell the story of the heroes of the NHS and social care of pharmacists, teachers, armed service personnel, shop workers, transport workers, the police and so many others.
“But in the end this was unlike any other struggle in my lifetime, in that our entire population has been engaged, and it’s thanks to all of you therefore that we can continue on our roadmap to freedom.
“We will meet our targets, offering a first dose to everyone over 50 by the middle of next month, as well as those under 50 who are clinically vulnerable, and offering a first dose of the vaccine to every adult by the end of July.
“And cautiously but irreversibly, step by step, jab by jab, this country is on the path to reclaiming our freedoms.”