A nationwide round of applause across the UK is set to take place on Sunday evening to mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.
People around Scotland have been urged to give the “biggest and loudest clap yet” for frontline workers following the success of the weekly Clap for Carers when coronavirus was at its peak.
The public will also be encouraged to observe a minute’s silence and light a candle on Saturday in remembrance of people who have died over the course of the pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to take part, with Downing Street to be lit-up blue on Saturday night as a candle is lit at the PM’s official residence at 9pm.
Johnson will meet NHS workers in the Number 10 garden on Sunday afternoon, and, speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Friday, urged the public to clap for “those who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to help the nation get through this pandemic”.
Public buildings in Scotland which will be lit up in blue in tribute to the NHS include the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh and Glasgow’s SEC – which was turned into the temporary NHS Louisa Jordan Covid-19 hospital.
It is hoped the nationwide clap, planned for 5pm on Sunday, will become an annual tradition.
Speaking at Friday’s Scottish Government briefing, national clinical director Jason Leitch said: “Over the last four months, the NHS and our wider health and social services have adapted at a phenomenal speed and scale to meet the challenges of this pandemic.
“It is important that we celebrate these anniversaries each year, but this year feels more important than ever. Buildings across the United Kingdom on Saturday night will light up blue.
“During the early stages of this pandemic we demonstrated our support for health, care staff and key workers on Thursday evenings.
“On Sunday night at 5pm we want to have the biggest and loudest clap yet across the whole of the UK.
“We want Scotland’s clap to be louder than everybody else’s. Please join in the celebration by taking part in that very special clap.”
Chief executive for NHS Wales Dr Andrew Goodall said Clap for Carers was “very much embraced” in Wales, and he is “delighted” to support Sunday’s event.
It has been organised following a letter from the Together coalition, in which influential figures the Archbishop of Canterbury voiced their support for making July 5 an official day of commemoration.
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