Anzac Day ceremonies to return in Canberra all but march on

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The Last Post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in 2018. Photo: AWM

ANZAC Day looks set to return to Canberra’s streets this year after government authorities gave the iconic day on the Australian calendar a dutiful exemption.

But the Australian War Memorial is still finalising operational details around the traditional Anzac Day march that may return for the first time since 2019.

The issue could lie with social distancing between the hundreds of veterans and thousands of spectators that would line the route to the war memorial.

Marches in some other Australian capital cities are already cancelled despite the federal government publicly indicating to state governments that ceremonies should resume.

ACT Health has given approval to hold Canberra’s Anzac Day dawn service and the national ceremony on April 25.

Number of observers attending both events are expected to be somewhat restricted.

“I anticipate this public release of key operational and ticketing information, including the numbers will be in the next two weeks,” an Australian War Memorial spokesperson said.

Commemoration of the day is conditional to abiding by covid-appropriate measures.

ACT Health handed out an “exemption” for Anzac Day events this week following the first public cancellation in 104 years since honouring soldiers was first observed.

The return was signed off by ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman before delivering “formal advice” to the Australian War Memorial.

“ACT Health has been working closely with the Australian War Memorial over the last two to three weeks to ensure that these events could progress in a covid safe way,” an ACT Health spokesperson said.

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