IT was the night the people of Herefordshire stepped out onto their doorsteps to take part in a humble act of gratitude.

Pensioners, parents, students and children stood poised in the chill in response to a social media campaign called #ClapForOurCarers.

Then, at exactly 8pm, they broke into a round of applause for those in the NHS working so hard in the fight against coronavirus.

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For such a simple gesture it was surprisingly moving.

There will have been many who shed a tear at the sounds of appreciation rippling through the darkness of a county in lockdown.

Among those who commented were Amy KC, who said: "Very loud clapping, whooping and whistling in Tupsley [Hereford], with elderly neighbours clapping from upstairs windows."

Rebecca Lewis's message to NHS staff was: "You all deserve medals. Thank you for your courage and hard work. Big claps from this house!"

Deb Smith said: "So much respect for our dedicated workers keeping the world turning in these unprecedented times.

"Our army of heroes, all of you... very emotional as we reflect on what these people are doing for us.

"Please all stay safe. You are doing an amazing job."

Leslie Davies said: "We are very proud of you all. God bless you all and keep you safe."

Rebecca Harding said: "Hinton, Putson, Pastures, Lower Bullingham and surrounds clapped for their lives this evening.

"Claps, whistles, horns, fireworks, cheering and chanting. It was so moving. I must admit I cried. So touching."

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The Prince of Wales joined in the tribute.

He was seen for the first time since testing positive for the virus.

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 Kensingtonroyal Instagram account showed Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis clapping to thank healthcare staff "working tirelessly" to help those affected by Covid-19.

After the country's tribute a tweet from the NHS account said: "That was emotional."

Kidderminster Shuttle: Firefighters in Ross-on-Wye join the Clap For Our Carers tribute to NHS workers on the front line against coronavirus. Picture: Ross Fire StationFirefighters in Ross-on-Wye join the Clap For Our Carers tribute to NHS workers on the front line against coronavirus. Picture: Ross Fire Station