Multiple states have cancelled Anzac services.
Multiple states have cancelled Anzac services.

Anzac services cancelled across Australia

Anzac Day services have been cancelled in NSW, Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania after the Federal Government banned mass gatherings in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Some services in Victoria will still be held, but with wide-ranging restrictions.

Melbourne's Anzac Day march is cancelled, while the dawn service at the Shrine Of Remembrance will go ahead with no crowd.

RSL NSW said it was a difficult decision to cancel all public commemoration services across the state on April 25.

"Given the significant concerns around the spread of COVID-19, we simply cannot allow such large gatherings as we see each year on Anzac Day to go ahead," acting state president Ray James said in a statement today.

"The RSL has a responsibility to act in the best interests of veterans and the general public." RSL WA chief executive John McCourt told ABC radio plans were under way for some sort of commemoration for April 25 using social media and live streaming.

RSL services and marches have also been called off in Tasmania.

"It was a tough decision because a lot of the subbranches would have been organising these events from February onwards," state president Robert Dick said.

"A lot of preparation work has already been done. But I emphasise the fact that public safety and wellbeing is more important."

 

Multiple states have cancelled Anzac services.
Multiple states have cancelled Anzac services.

Mr Dick said many older veterans fell in the group who were most at risk.

"The consequences could be devastating and we don't want to put people in that position," he said.

"We're asking people in their own private way to pay respects to our serving and ex-service members.

"Even if it's like on Remembrance Day, where you take a moment around 11 o'clock to pause and reflect on those who have gone before."

Meanwhile, Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance has also closed its doors because of the coronavirus spread.

Along with the cancellation of Melbourne's Anzac Day march and the midday service, the dawn service at the shrine will go ahead with only a small number of official guests.

The Dawn Service will also be modified to minimise the virus risk.

Victorian RSL subbranches are to conduct a single Anzac Day service, also without the public.

Victoria has declared a state of emergency, while NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has issued an order forcing the immediate cancellation of public events with more than 500 people.

The WA Government on Sunday declared a state of emergency warning those who breach the 14-day self-isolation ban after returning from overseas will be fined up to $50,000.



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