Queen Elizabeth II Will Ask The UK For ‘Self-Discipline’ In Coronavirus Address
(CNN) — Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will make a rare broadcast address to the nation on Sunday evening to urge people to practice “self-discipline and resolve” in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking in a pre-recorded video shot at Windsor Castle, the Queen will thank frontline staff at the UK’s National Health Service, carers and others carrying out essential roles.
“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time. A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all,” she will say, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace.
“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humored resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country.”
She will also show recognition of the pain already felt by families and thank people who are following official guidance to stay at home to protect the vulnerable, the statement says.
The Queen rarely makes national addresses, typically speaking to the country only at Christmas time and when a new Parliament is installed.
Her address comes as authorities issue warnings to people to stay at home over the weekend, as the country emerges from winter and temperatures begin climbing above 20 degrees. On Sunday, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged people in the UK not to sunbathe. Parks in central London have become inundated as shops and other attractions across the country close.
The UK has reported more than 4,000 coronavirus-related deaths, the fourth-highest recorded in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The country is carrying out social distancing measures, closing schools and nurseries to most children, and all non-essential businesses.
After initially deciding not to carry out widespread testing, the UK government has reversed its policy and will aim to test 100,000 people a day.
The decision appeared to have been made as 8% of NHS staff were unable to work due to illness or to take periods of self-isolation.
The decision also comes as evidence grows that people can carry the virus and show no symptoms at all.
Hancock said on Friday that the deadliest peak of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK could hit on Easter Sunday.
Leading UK epidemiologist, Neil Ferguson, told the BBC on Saturday that social distancing rules could be relaxed in weeks if there are signs the coronavirus spread is slowing, but also hinted that special measures could be needed until the end of May.
Prince Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the throne, tested positive for Covid-19 recently and underwent a period of self-isolation. On Friday, the Prince of Wales opened the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital at a London convention center via videolink, saying that he considered himself “lucky” to have only experienced mild symptoms.
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