National salute to NHS staff as thousands take to balconies to express thanks

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis join 'Clap for Carers'

The royal family and the Prime Minister joined people all over the UK who flocked to their balconies and windows to applaud the NHS staff battling the coronavirus pandemic.

The national round of applause came after the unveiling of a £9 billion package of support which will see the Government give millions of self-employed people a grant worth up to £2,500 a month.

People took to their balconies and doorsteps to clap and cheer, while vehicles sounded their horns at 8pm on Thursday evening as a gesture of thanks to frontline healthcare heroes.

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Thousand of Brits join clap for carers
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Thousand of Brits join clap for carers
Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital join in a national applause for the NHS as people across the country showed their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Handout photo of the screens in London's Piccadilly Circus saluting local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic, when landmarks across the UK will be lit blue.
Heidi, Megan and Evan French of St Johns Avenue in Syston, Leicestershire joins in nationwide show of support for the NHS with 'Clap For Our Carers'
Residents of St Johns Avenue in Syston, Leicestershire join in nationwide show of support for the NHS with 'Clap For Our Carers'
Jane Turner of St Johns Avenue in Syston, Leicestershire joins in nationwide show of support for the NHS with 'Clap For Our Carers'
Heidi and Megan French of St Johns Avenue in Syston, Leicestershire joins in nationwide show of support for the NHS with 'Clap For Our Carers'
Residents of St Johns Avenue in Syston, Leicestershire join in nationwide show of support for the NHS with 'Clap For Our Carers'
Residents of St Johns Avenue in Syston, Leicestershire join in nationwide show of support for the NHS with 'Clap For Our Carers'
RETRANSMITTING AMENDING LOCATION People in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, join in a national applause for the NHS from their doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)
The P&O cruise ship Aurora off the White Cliffs of Dover spells NHS in lights, as peope join in a national applause for the NHS from their doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
RETRANSMITTING AMENDING LOCATION People in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, join in a national applause for the NHS from their doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)
The P&O cruise ship Aurora off the White Cliffs of Dover spells NHS in lights, as people join in a national applause for the NHS from their doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, - MARCH 26: The Wembley arena is lit up thanking the NHS on March 26, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, - MARCH 26: The Wembley arch is lit up in blue thanking the NHS on March 26, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, - MARCH 26: Wembley way is seen thanking the NHS on March 26, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, - MARCH 26: Barbara Leigh, aged 93, (second left) rings a bell for the NHS, with her family who are all staying together throughout the lockdown, from their front garden across the road from Wythenshawe Hospital on March 26, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A police officer joins staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in a national applause for the NHS as people across the country showed their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital join in a national applause for the NHS as people across the country showed their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Staff outside the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, east London, during the national applause for the NHS, from people's doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
Members of the public take to balconies for a period of applause in Glasgow, Scotland on March 26, 2020, as a sign of public admiration for the National Health Service (NHS). - Hospital bosses and doctors on Thursday warned of being swamped with a "tsunami" of COVID-19 patients in London, as Britain braced for a peak in cases and the government faced calls to urgently provide specialist kit and tests for frontline health workers. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, - MARCH 26: People applaud the NHS from their balconies and gardens across the road from Wythenshawe Hospital on March 26, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, - MARCH 26: People applaud the NHS from their balconies and gardens across the road from Wythenshawe Hospital on March 26, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, - MARCH 26: People applaud the NHS from their balconies and gardens across the road from Wythenshawe Hospital on March 26, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, - MARCH 26: People applaud the NHS from their balconies and gardens across the road from Wythenshawe Hospital on March 26, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
People step out into the street for a period of applause in Blackpool, north-west England on March 26, as a sign of public admiration for the National Health Service (NHS). - Hospital bosses and doctors on Thursday warned of being swamped with a "tsunami" of COVID-19 patients in London, as Britain braced for a peak in cases and the government faced calls to urgently provide specialist kit and tests for frontline health workers. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
People step out into the street for a period of applause in Blackpool, north-west England on March 26, as a sign of public admiration for the National Health Service (NHS). - Hospital bosses and doctors on Thursday warned of being swamped with a "tsunami" of COVID-19 patients in London, as Britain braced for a peak in cases and the government faced calls to urgently provide specialist kit and tests for frontline health workers. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 26: Residents of the Tulse Hill Estate in South London come out onto their balconies to applaud NHS staff fighting the virus on March 26, 2020 in London, England. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 26: Residents of the Tulse Hill Estate in South London come out onto their balconies to applaud NHS staff fighting the virus on March 26, 2020 in London, England. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 26: The SSE Hydro is lit up blue for NHS staff for all their hard work during the outbreak on March 26, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
People in Woodford Green, London, join in a national applause for the NHS from their doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
People in flats opposite the St James's University Hospital in Leeds, join in a national applause for the NHS from their balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
RETRANSMITTING ADDING BYLINE People pause in the street in Wapping Wharf, Bristol, come out onto their balconies to join in a national applause for the NHS from their doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
RETRANSMITTING ADDING BYLINE People in Wapping Wharf, Bristol, come out onto their balconies to join in a national applause for the NHS from their doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
Staff outside the St James's University Hospital in Leeds, wave to people applauding them from their balconies, during the national applause for the NHS, from people's doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
SALTBURN BY THE SEA, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 26: Residents in Saltburn By The Sea come out of their homes to hold a mass applause to show support for NHS staff and front line medical workers as the UK adjusts to life under the Coronavirus pandemic on March 26, 2020 in Saltburn By The Sea, United Kingdom. Organisers of Clap for our Carers have asked the public to show their appreciation for the doctors, nurses, GPs, emergency workers and pharmacists involved in helping care for those affected by Covid-19 and other sick patients. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to at least 198 countries, claiming over 21,000 lives and infecting more than 470,000 people. There have now been 9,529 diagnosed cases in the UK and 465 deaths. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
SALTBURN BY THE SEA, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 26: Residents in Saltburn By The Sea come out of their homes to hold a mass applause to show support for NHS staff and front line medical workers as the UK adjusts to life under the Coronavirus pandemic on March 26, 2020 in Saltburn By The Sea, United Kingdom. Organisers of Clap for our Carers have asked the public to show their appreciation for the doctors, nurses, GPs, emergency workers and pharmacists involved in helping care for those affected by Covid-19 and other sick patients. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to at least 198 countries, claiming over 21,000 lives and infecting more than 470,000 people. There have now been 9,529 diagnosed cases in the UK and 465 deaths. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside 10 Downing Street, London, joining in with a national applause for the NHS to show appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Nick and Karen Giddens and their dog Macy in Leicester join in a national applause for the NHS from their doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND- MARCH 26: Residents in a Northampton street applaud in support of the NHS on March 26, 2020 in Northampton, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 26: Members of the public clap outside their homes on March 26, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
NHS staff respond as people in Blackpool join in a national applause for the NHS from their doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND- MARCH 26: Residents in a Northampton street applaud in support of the NHS on March 26, 2020 in Northampton, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Mia Wilson aged 12 from Long Eaton, Derbyshire joins in a national applause for the NHS from their doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. (Photo by Scott Wilson/PA Images via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND- MARCH 26: Residents in a Northampton street applaud in support of the NHS on March 26, 2020 in Northampton, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, - MARCH 26: 'MV Ventura', a Grand-class cruise ship of the P&O Cruises fleet, docked at Southampton Docks shows its support for the NHS by lighting up rooms on the cruise ship to spell '#I LOVE NHS' on March 26, 2020 in Various Cities, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
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Boris Johnson was joined by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak outside 10 Downing Street as they took part in the national salute.

And a video posted on the Kensingtonroyal Instagram account showed Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis clapping to thank all those healthcare staff "working tirelessly" to help those affected by Covid-19.

The Clap For Carers campaign, which started online, was staged because "during these unprecedented times they need to know we are grateful", according to the organisers.

At the same time, landmarks including Belfast City Hall, Principality Stadium in Cardiff and the London Eye were lit up as part of the #lightitblue salute.

Not long afterwards, a tweet from the NHS account said: "That was emotional."

Earlier, announcing his package for the self-employed, Mr Sunak said the scheme which will be open for at least three months, will cover 80% of a self-employed person's average monthly profits.

Coronavirus

But it may not be available until June and will only be available to those who have a tax return for 2019, meaning the newly self-employed will be ineligible.

And Mr Sunak warned that the self-employed could face tax hikes in the future as part of the effort to "right the ship" and repair the battered public finances after the coronavirus crisis is over.

Details of the scheme came as the Department of Health announced a total of 578 people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK have died as of 5pm on March 25.

Some 11,658 people have tested positive in the UK as of 9am on March 26.

Mr Sunak's scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment.

Up to 3.8 million people will qualify for support, with average monthly payments expected to be £940 per person.

Mr Sunak said the scheme, which will last for at least three months, "is one of the most generous in the world".

"It targets support to those who need help most, offering the self-employed the same level of support as those in work."

He said the measure covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.

But in a hint that the self-employed could be asked to pay more to the taxman in future he said it was "now much harder to justify" the tax breaks on offer to the self-employed if they were receiving the same level of state support.

He said everyone would be "chipping in together to right the ship afterwards" once the crisis is over.

A number of self-employed workers welcomed the Chancellor's measures but expressed concern about having to wait until June to claim.

Louise Barina, a production manager who lives in London, said: "After having spoken to our landlord, he has outright said no, that we can't get a delay on our rent.

"In terms of the payment coming in June, that's really problematic for us as that's obviously three months of payment where we need to find the money for that."

Casting director Sally McCleery, from Brighton, told the PA news agency: "80% is quite generous and we can live on that ... our expenses are fairly low and we can live here and not spend too much money. We're going to have to really watch the pennies until June."

Meanwhile the Department of Health said revising its reporting approach for coronavirus deaths "to ensure data can be verified and published in a timely, consistent way".

A statement on Twitter said: "Figures issued today are recorded as of 5pm 24 March to 5pm 25 March.

"Going forwards, figures on deaths will be recorded for the 24-hour period as of 5pm the previous day. Figures on tests remain as of the 24-hour period from 9am that day."

In other developments:

– Criminals who deliberately cough at police officers while claiming to have coronavirus could face up to two years in jail, the country's top prosecutor has warned

– The Home Office warned that people who continue to flout coronavirus lockdown rules will be breaking the law and could be arrested by police

– The Prince of Wales, who is self-isolating in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, thanked the public for the hundreds of get well messages he has received

– Home tests for people to find out whether they have had coronavirus could be available in a matter of weeks, says Public Health England

– Billionaire entrepreneur Sir James Dyson said the Government had ordered 10,000 ventilators from his company

– Downing Street said the UK had become the largest contributor to the international coalition to find a coronavirus vaccine after donating £210 million in new aid funding

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

– No10 indicated that additional coronavirus field hospitals are being considered around the UK and 500 of the additional 4,000 beds created in the NHS Nightingale Hospital being set up in London's ExCeL centre will be available for use next week

– The Government raised the target for volunteers to help vulnerable people through the coronavirus crisis to 750,000 after almost 650,000 members of the public signed up to help the NHS

Boris Johnson has previously warned that the self-employed may not be able to get through the coronavirus crisis "without any kind of hardship at all".

But the Prime Minister said he wanted to get "parity of support" so the self-employed could have similar levels of protection to waged workers.

Mr Sunak set out plans for 80% wage subsidies for PAYE employees last week.

Police officers in England were given the power to enforce the coronavirus lockdown as of 1pm on Thursday.

People who continue to flout the rules on staying at home will be breaking the law and could be arrested or fined. Officers can use "reasonable force, if necessary".

Regulations are also expected to be introduced in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Deputy chief medical officer for England Jenny Harries said social distancing measures are starting to have an effect on the growth of coronavirus in the UK but "we must not take our foot off the pedal".

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