Here’s what you need to know about today’s minute’s silence for key workers

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 10:16 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 1:08 pm
A minute's silence will be held across the UK today (28 April) to commemorate the key workers who have lost their lives from Covid-19 (Photo: Shutterstock)
A minute's silence will be held across the UK today (28 April) to commemorate the key workers who have lost their lives from Covid-19 (Photo: Shutterstock)

A minute's silence will be held across the UK today (28 April) to commemorate the key workers who have lost their lives from Covid-19.

Here’s what you need to know about the tribute, including key times, who organised it and who the silence is in memory of.

What time is the minute’s silence?

The minute’s silence will be held on Tuesday 28 April at 11am.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who returned to work on Monday (27 April) will join the tribute.

The prime minister's official spokesperson confirmed that he would be supporting the tribute, saying: "We will be asking everybody who works in the government to take part and we would hope that others will take part nationwide as well."

Speaking at the Scottish Government's daily coronavirus briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also encouraged everyone "at home" to join in with the minute’s silence.

The silence also coincides with International Workers’ Memorial Day, which is an annual observance that pays tribute to workers who have become unwell, injured, disabled or have died due to their work.

Who is the minute’s silence in memory of?

The minute’s silence is in memory of the key workers who have died from the virus.

At least 90 NHS workers have died since 25 March, alongside care and transport workers, and those in other key sectors.

Earlier this month, it was reported that 26 Transport for London workers had died from Covid-19.

Transport for London has said the underground and bus network would be brought to a halt for the minute’s silence, with passengers also being asked to join in as the workforce honours its colleagues.

Who has organised the minute’s silence?

The minute’s silence has been organised as part of a collaboration between the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, and public service trade union Unison.

A statement released by the three organisations explained that International Workers’ Memorial Day “has never been more important” in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Unison general secretary, Dave Prentis, said: “Every year, the sacrifice of workers around the world is recognised, but this year has a special significance because of the pandemic.

“Thousands of key staff are on the frontline while the rest of us are in lockdown. That’s why we’ve issued this call for the whole country to take part and remember the sacrifices they’ve made. The best tribute we can all pay them is to stay inside to protect the NHS.”

‘Our heroes kept going to work’

Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "Whether in nursing or driving buses, our heroes kept going to work when many had the luxury of staying at home.

“Nobody should go out to work and risk their life. This must not be the last time that sacrifice is recognised. The country and its leaders owe a tremendous debt to these key workers and the many more who are on shift again today."