Britons to observe a minute’s silence as UK marks tragic coronavirus milestone

Britons are encouraged to observe a minute’s silence in honour of the lives lost to COVID-19. People are also invited to light candles and turn on their phone flashlights on their doorsteps at 8pm.

The tribute will symbolise a “beacon of remembrance” for the more than 126,000 fatal victims of the deadly disease.

Mr Johnson recognised that the last year had taken a “huge toll on us all” and urged everyone to reflect on ”one of the most difficult in our country’s history”.

The devastating milestone comes after a leading scientist warned the UK should be wary of a fourth wave of coronavirus as it is “likely”.

Sage adviser Professor Andrew Hayward advised people to remain cautious despite encouraging vaccine figures.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock labelled the vaccine rollout as “a national success story and our way out of this pandemic”.

However, European nations are sparking concerns the UK could enter a new wave of the virus as they continue to introduce stringent restrictions.

Speaking to Times Radio, Professor Hayward, of University College London, said: “I think another wave is possible, likely even.

“I guess the difference is that another wave will cause substantially fewer deaths and hospitalisations because of high levels of vaccination across the sorts of people who would have ended up in hospital or unfortunately dying if they haven’t been vaccinated.

Professor Hayward has advised Britons to be “careful” when lockdown restrictions are lifted, as the increasing figures across Europe could last “several months”.

The UK has now started to reopen gradually with social distancing rules ending on June 21 at the earliest.

From April 12, the Government plans to reopen hospitality venues, offering fresh hopes of an economic recovery for businesses.

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