NHS workers and social care staff will now be able to park for free at hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak.

The government announced the measures following more than 400,000 people signing a petition urging for workers to receive free parking as a sign of appreciation for all their efforts during this crisis.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I will do everything I can to ensure our dedicated staff have whatever they need during this unprecedented time.

“We will provide free car parking for our NHS staff who are going above and beyond every day in hospitals across England. My enormous gratitude goes out to the many NHS Trusts and other organisations already providing free car parking and I urge other Trusts to do the same with our backing.”

Private parking firms are usually those in charge of hospital parking, so the government has promised to provide NHS trusts with the money for them to offer it for free. However, there has been further calls for controversial parking charges to be permanently abolished for NHS staff.

National Car Parking (NCP) has also confirmed that NHS staff will able to park for free at its 150 sites across England. Elsewhere, MG recently announced that it was giving 100 free electric cars to the health service for up to six months to help provide essential transport to workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It comes as part of a nationwide rallying of support for health and care workers, with people across the UK at 8PM last night clapping in appreciation for those on the frontline tackling this virus.