19 Mar 2020

Coronavirus: RSA cancels Anzac Day services across New Zealand

12:30 pm on 19 March 2020

In an unprecedented move, all Anzac Day services around the country have been cancelled as part of increasing restrictions in response to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

RSA national president BJ Clark

RSA national president BJ Clark. Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

The national Poppy Day appeal has also been postponed for first time since 1922.

RSA national president BJ Clark told media it was not worth risking the health of veterans and the wider public by going ahead.

"Now is the time to look after our whānau and family and to fight the invisible enemy which has declared war on our way of life.

"Values of service, sacrifice and support that have given our country strength in times of war, adversity, strife and natural disaster will protect New Zealand communities again."

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs)

Clark said plans were under way to allow New Zealanders to still pay their respects in safe and appropriate ways on Anzac Day, 25 April.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced yesterday the joint New Zealand and Australian Anzac Day services at Gallipoli in Turkey were cancelled due to the ongoing risk and travel restrictions posed by the virus.

She announced on Monday a ban on all gatherings of 500 people or more, and is expected to reveal further restrictions within the next 24 hours.

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