A national ‘Day of Reflection’ for the Covid pandemic is being led by the Marie Curie end-of-life charity with government backing on its new date this year, Sunday, March 3.

It is to remember those who died, whatever the cause, and to show support for the bereaved.

“This pays tribute to the loved ones that we lost during the pandemic,” Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said.

“I am grateful to Marie Curie for their brilliant work across the country.”

Marie Curie has organised an annual Day of Reflection since 2021, where community groups all over the UK set up vigils and commemoration events.

Actor and Marie Curie ambassador Jim Carter said: “The Day of Reflection remains an essential part of the fabric of our nation.

“I recall the personal loss of day-to-day life as I knew it when I think about the pandemic, about the unbearable grief that people felt and still feel over the death of their partners, their children or parents. That time was so disruptive for so many.”

The charity is also promoting its bereavement support for those who are grieving.

Matthew Reed, the charity’s chief executive, said: “The pandemic may be over for most but the lasting impact isn’t over for many. The hole that is left when someone you love dies can never be filled.”

The anniversary of the first UK lockdown is March 23, which was marked by the inaugural Day of Reflection on the first anniversary in 2021.

But this year it moves to the new date of March 3, in line with the independent UK Commission on Covid Commemoration’s recommendation that it is held on the first Sunday in March each year.

Baroness Morgan, who chaired the commission, said: “The need to create time and space for reflection on the impact of the pandemic was a key theme that commissioners heard often in our consultations.

“Those who lost loved ones in the pandemic told us they remember them every day. But to know that there is a particular UK-wide Day of Reflection when others join them is important.”

The government is supporting Marie Curie with a £500,000 fund for the fourth annual Day of Reflection with community events across the UK. The day will include a minute’s silence at midday.