Australian ANZAC Day Commemorations Are Being Cancelled and Downscaled Due to COVID-19
All services have been scrapped in NSW and Qld, and some services will go ahead in Vic, but the public will not be able to attend.
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 indefinitely, services around the country are being cancelled and reduced in size.
The situation differs state by state, with each respective branch of the RSL making a call on their usual commemorations. 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.
In New South Wales, that means scrapping all public services entirely. The same is the case in Queensland, although it'll look into options to mark the occasion "without placing veterans and the general public at risk". Western Australia and Tasmania are also completely scrapping their plans.
In Victoria, events will go ahead — but the public won't be able to attend. There'll be a single dawn service at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance, which will be conducted "with a small number of official guests and modified to minimise COVID-19 risk"; however, the midday service at the same spot won't go ahead, and neither will the ANZAC Day march. RSL sub branches across Victoria will also be allowed to conduct one commemorative service only, but these will not be open to the public either.
If the mass gatherings ban is still in place on April 25, it's likely another major part of ANZAC Day in Australia won't go ahead either: the annual games of two-up.
ANZAC Day services will no longer go ahead on Saturday, April 25 in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania. In Victoria, all services have been cancelled except a dawn service at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance, but it will not be open to the public.
To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.
Top image: ANZAC Day at Dee Why RSL.
Published on March 16, 2020 by Sarah Ward