Boris Johnson press conference: PM to address nation from No10 on tragic milestone

Prince Charles marks anniversary of UK lockdown with message

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The Prime Minister will hold a press conference at 5pm to mark the anniversary and reflect on the UK’s war on the virus. Over the past year 126,172 coronavirus deaths have been recorded in Britain, with the nation suffering one of the highest death tolls in the world.

In the last 12 months England has been plunged into three national lockdowns, with similar measures taken in the other nations of the UK.

Mr Johnson has called on the nation to take part in a day of reflection to mark the one year anniversary and he will lead the country in a minute of silence to mark the victims of the pandemic at midday.

Ahead of today’s anniversary, the Prime Minister said: “The last 12 months has taken a huge toll on us all, and I offer my sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones.

“Today, the anniversary of the first lockdown, is an opportunity to reflect on the past year – one of the most difficult in our country’s history.

“We should also remember the great spirit shown by our nation over this past year. We have all played our part, whether it’s working on the front line as a nurse or carer, working on vaccine development and supply, helping to get that jab into arms, home schooling your children, or just by staying at home to prevent the spread of the virus.

“It’s because of every person in this country that lives have been saved, our NHS was protected, and we have started on our cautious road to easing restrictions once and for all.”

The one year milestone comes amid fears of a new surge in cases of Covid on the continent.

While Britain has seen daily infections plunge due to lockdown and the successful rollout of vaccines, Europe is battling a third wave.

Mr Johnson is expected tonight to warn the public they must continue to abide by the social distancing measures and the laws under the roadmap out of lockdown or risk seeing cases flare-up.

Yesterday Mr Johnson said: “If there is one thing that is worth stressing it’s that on the continent right now you can see sadly there is a third wave underway.

“People in this country should be under no illusions that previous experience has taught us that when a wave hits our friends, it washes up on our shores as well.

“I expect that we will feel those effects in due course.

“That’s why we’re getting on with our vaccination programme as fast as we can but a vaccination campaign and developing vaccines, rolling them out – these are international projects and they require international co-operation.”

Ministers are hoping the progress the UK has made in its immunisation programme will help see off the worst of the impact of the new wave in Europe.

Almost 28 million people in Britain have now had a first dose of a Covid vaccine.

While the UK has administered 42.7 injections per 100 people, the EU has administered just 10.4 doses.

The slow pace of the inoculation drive in the EU has forced some member states, including Italy, France and Germany, to reintroduce lockdown measures.

Mr Johnson is eager to keep his roadmap out of lockdown on track and avoid delaying the reopening of society at home.

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