Thousands of people hung out of windows, stood in their gardens and cheered for all the hard work the NHS staff are doing to help during the coronavirus outbreak.

Fireworks were left off and cowbells were ringing as the clocks chimed 8pm people cheered and said thank you.

Some of the people who took part included Anne Mark Holliday said: “Even though our neighbours are far apart we could hear, clapping all around us.

“Very emotional, overwhelming.”

Surprised at the support Kay Mulholland said: “Wow, as an NHS health care assistant, I was absolutely humbled. The support and appreciation definitely noted.

“Well done everyone for keeping this country going.”

Taking her time to appreciate everyone involved, Sylvia Sloan, said: “I clapped for NHS, Military, police, private care staff, bus drivers, delivery truck drivers, shop floor staff and anyone else working to keep us safe, well-fed.”

The Royal Family and the prime minister joined well-wishers who flocked to their balconies and windows to applaud.

The nationwide salute came as the UK’s coronavirus death toll passed the 500 mark and on the same day, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak unveiled a £9 billion package of support for the self-employed.

A video posted on the Kensington royal Instagram account showed Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis clapping to thank healthcare staff “working tirelessly” to help those affected by Covid-19.

The nation’s applause for the NHS on Thursday evening led to an all-time record of upstream traffic on Virgin Media, as people uploaded videos of the moment on social platforms.

Upstream traffic - data sent by people when using programmes such as video calls - has increased significantly during daytime hours, as the public stay at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

Virgin Media said upstream traffic on its network is up more than 150 per cent on the previous month, due to a rise in video conferencing and digital classrooms.

Stay Home Stay Safe.