Clap for heroes: UK takes to doorsteps once again in honour of key workers

Clap for Carers is being relaunched as Clap for Heroes (Image: Getty Images)

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Brits took to their doorsteps once again this evening as they clapped in honour of hour heroic key workers.

Applause broke out in parts of the country at 8pm as the weekly Thursday tradition of the early days of the coronavirus lockdown returned.

The original 'Clap for Carers’ has been relaunched and rebranded as ‘Clap for Heroes’ as England entered its third national lockdown.

London buildings have also been lit blue to pay tribute to NHS workers putting their lives at risk as they work on the frontline of the battle against Covid-19.

Landmarks, historic buildings and major sporting and entertainment venues have been illuminated blue – including The London Eye, Trafalgar Square, County Hall and Wembley Arch.

The UK Covid-19 death toll soared by 1,162 today in the in second highest daily rise of the pandemic.

Cases once again rose by more than 50,000 as hospitals up and down the country warned they were on the brink of crisis.

Two dog walkers clap for heroes outside London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
(Image: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

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Despite the planned national applause, reports on social media indicated it was not as popular as the first wave.

It came just hours after Boris Johnson addressed the nation to promise the armed forces were primed to aid the vaccine rollout effort.

The Prime Minister said the British Army would use ‘battle preparation techniques’ to deliver hundreds of thousands of doses a day to meet a February 15 deadline to vaccinate 14million of the UK’s most vulnerable people.

People clap for heroes in West London
(Image: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

Iconic landmarks in London, including the London Eye, have lit up in a gesture of gratitude towards NHS workers
(Image: Getty Images)

But the revival of the national grassroots cheerleading effort was not universally backed.

The founder of Clap for Carers has distanced herself from the newly revived event after being targeted with "hateful" abuse on social media including threats against her family.

The weekly clap had from the outset been dogged by criticism that key public sector workers including NHS staff and teachers needed better pay and PPE, not applause.

The fountain in Trafalgar Square was also illuminated as an increasing amount of hospitals face being overwhelmed
(Image: Getty Images)

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Annemarie Plas, a 36-year-old mother-of-one, said that although the clap should still go ahead at 8pm on Thursday, she had opted to distance herself from the planned applause and "will no longer seek to raise further awareness of it".

"Without getting too political, I share some of the opinions that some people have about it becoming politicised," Ms Plas told the PA news agency ahead of the final clap in May.

"I think the narrative is starting to change and I don't want the clap to be negative."

Two women clap as they walk their dogs in west London
(Image: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

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The reincarnation comes as the NHS battles the "most serious" point of the pandemic so far.

Dr Susan Hopkins, deputy director of the national infections service at Public Health England (PHE), today voiced the bleak outlook as frontline medics battle a surge in cases.

She told BBC Breakfast: "This position is the most serious we've been in so far this pandemic.

"We are now seeing a number of patients in hospitals 40% higher than the cases at the peak in March/April.

"And we know that the cases in the community are still rising. And that means that we expect to see further admissions to hospital, and we expect to see further deaths."

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