News National COVID claims Anzac Day events amid fears for veterans’ safety
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COVID claims Anzac Day events amid fears for veterans’ safety

anzac day 2021
The Tasmanian RSL says the "safety of our veterans and the public is foremost in our minds". Photo: ABC
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Another Anzac Day parade has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic amid concerns about the ability for such an event to be run safely.

On Friday, the Tasmanian RSL announced Tasmania’s parade through the streets of Hobart would not proceed on April 25.

RSL Tasmania president Robert Dick said social distancing requirements made the march unfeasible and “very hard to police”.

“You do have situations where there’s narrower streets people have to go through … to have people 1.5 metres apart, it would extend the march for a great length of time and it would be very hard to police,” he said.

“Please accept the fact that this is not any easy decision.

“We’re disappointed. However, the safety of our veterans and the public is foremost in our minds.”

anzac day 2021
Anzac Day events are unlikely to look as they did in years past. Photo: ABC

The dawn service and commemorative wreath-laying service would still go ahead at the Hobart Cenotaph, but would be smaller events, he said.

“You can make sure there is plenty of space for social distancing.”

Mr Dick said there would still be opportunities to remember the sacrifice made by servicemen and women.

He urged people to commemorate from home or go to their local RSL service if it was being run.

Last week, RSL Victoria announced the cancellation of Melbourne’s Anzac Day parade.

anzac day 2021
The RSL said the “traditional Anzac Day commemoration will go ahead this year” in Perth. Photo: ABC

NSW will go ahead with its Anzac Day parade on April 25. The Sydney CBD March will be limited to 500 participants.

RSL NSW will conduct a ballot for veterans to participate in the march and places will be allocated across each service branch and conflict from World War II to current operations.

RSL NSW president Ray James said the “Light Up the Dawn” campaign would happen again in 2021.

“Millions of people took to their driveways during the COVID-19 pandemic to personally commemorate veterans by lighting up the dawn,” he said.

Parades in Adelaide and Darwin will still go ahead.

Queensland’s march and service in Brisbane will go ahead, but it will only involve invited veterans and feature scaled down events compared with previous years.

RSL WA said the “traditional Anzac Day commemoration will go ahead this year with a dawn service at the State War Memorial, a street parade through the Perth CBD and the commemorative service at the Perth Concert Hall”.

It is yet to be decided if there will be a march in Canberra.

Anzac Day commemorations will still take place at the Australian National War Memorial in Canberra.

-ABC