New Zealand ANZAC Day Commemorations Have Been Cancelled Due to COVID-19
All services have been scrapped and the annual Poppy Day collection has been postponed.
ANZAC Day might be more than a month away, but it's still being affected by efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. With non-essential events with over 500 people now banned, services around the country have been cancelled and the annual Poppy Day collection has been postponed.
New Zealand RSA (Returned and Services Association) president BJ Clark said the risk was too great for its annual fundraising event due to public exposure. It will be the first time Poppy Day has been postponed since 1922.
Of paramount concern nationwide isn't just protecting the general public, but protecting veterans, especially those of an older age who are particularly at risk from the coronavirus. Across the country that means scrapping public services entirely — the first time ANZAC services have been cancelled since they were started in 1915.
The Australian RSL began nationwide cancelling services at the beginning of the week, and the decision comes after services at Gallipoli were canned on Wednesday.
ANZAC Day services will no longer go ahead on Saturday, April 25. To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in New Zealand and how to protect yourself, head to the Ministry of Health's website.
Image: Auckland War Memorial Museum, Tamaki Paenga Hira.
Published on March 19, 2020 by Sarah Ward