Anzac Day services could go ahead with no crowds and veterans forced to watch on TV at home as coronavirus crisis plans escalate
- Drastic changes could be made to Anzac day services amid coronavirus crisis
- Victoria services will go ahead but veterans could be forced to watch from home
- Other services around the globe are in question, with Gallipoli under review
Drastic changes could be made to Anzac Day which could force veterans to watch services at home on TV amid the coronavirus crisis.
Authorities are considering banning the ceremonies to honour Australian and New Zealand troops on April 25 as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.
Commemorative events in Victoria will still go ahead but RSL Victoria chief executive Jamie Twidale said veterans would have to watch them from home.
It is understood organisers in other states are considering similar changes as the number of cases in Australia rises, with 129 cases now confirmed, including three deaths.
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, authorities are considering banning the mass gatherings to honor Australian and New Zealand troops on April 25. Pictured: Crowds take part in the Anzac dawn service last year
In Victoria services will still go ahead but veterans could be forced to watch from home instead. Pictured: People gather at the Shrine of Remembrance for the Anzac Day dawn service in Melbourne last year
‘We will still do it even if it’s just three or four people at each cenotaph and five people at the dawn service,’ he told the Herald Sun.
WHAT IS ANZAC DAY?
Anzac Day is held on April 25 and commemorates the campaign by Australian, New Zealand and other Allied troops in 1915 to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.
Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders travel to Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux in France each year for dawn services.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.
‘We will find a way of observing it.’
Mr Twidale said the event was too important to cancel but they would consider changing the format to decrease the risk.
There is a greater concern for elderly people as the coronavirus death rate is reportedly ten times higher in very elderly compared to the middle-aged.
Under the proposed changes in Victoria, only a handful of people would be present at the Shrine of Remembrance.
The extreme measures will only happen if the state government escalates its pandemic plan, Mr Twidale said.
Premier Dan Andrews has previously warned measures could escalate to stop the spread of the disease.
The Gallipoli dawn service is under review and the Australian authorities are monitoring the situation Pictured: A woman holds a national flag around herself at the dawn service last year
The annual service went ahead last year with increased security measures after Turkish police on Wednesday night arrested an alleged ISIS member who was thought to be planning an attack. Pictured: People slept in sleeping bags before service began
The Gallipoli dawn service is under review and the Australian authorities are monitoring the situation, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Turkey closed its boarder last month as its number of coronavirus cases soared. There is also added concern due to Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian conflict.
Last year there were increased security measures after Turkish police arrested an alleged ISIS member who was thought to be planning an attack.
Turkish forces were conducting security checks every couple of hundred metres in the national park surrounding Anzac Cove.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 129
New South Wales: 65
South Australia: 9
Western Australia: 9
Northern Territory: 1
TOTAL CASES: 129