London marks one year anniversary of first national lockdown  

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan marked the anniversary of the first national lockdown by planting the final two trees in the London Blossom Garden.

The garden, located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, was designed in partnership with the National Trust and Bloomberg to be a memorial to those lost during the pandemic.

More than 18,000 Londoners have died of Covid-19.

Sadiq Khan said: “The pandemic has devastated our city and our country, and as we mark one year since the first national lockdown it’s important that we remember all those who have tragically lost their lives.

“By planting the final trees in the new London Blossom Garden, we pay tribute to those who have died, honour the efforts of our key workers and reflect on the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on our capital.

“We know that our fight against the virus is not over, but this garden will be a lasting, living reminder of the way Londoners and our country have stood together during these incredibly challenging times.”

Locals were consulted on the design of the park, which features 33 blossom trees to represent the 32 London boroughs and the City of London. It will open to the public later in the spring.

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As of March 22, more than 2.9 million Londoners have now received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, with a further 219,317 having received a second dose.

Lord Mayor of the City of London William Russell said: “A year on from the first lockdown, it is a time of reflection for us all.

“These past 12 months have been hugely challenging for people across the country. My thoughts are with those who have lost friends and family during the pandemic.

“I also want to express my sincere gratitude to our wonderful NHS staff and frontline workers for their selfless efforts to keep the country going through the lockdowns.

“Finally, I also want to say a huge thank you to all residents and workers in the Square Mile during these testing times.”

City of London Corporation Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness thanked Londoners for their incredible hard work and efforts over the last year.

“It’s been a testing, trying 12 months for us all – especially key workers on the front line, and those that have sadly lost loved ones.

“There is growing light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccination programme rollout moving at pace. But in the meantime, let’s all stay the course, and continue to abide by the rules.”

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