Anzac Day last year was a little different from usual. At the time, most of Australia was stuck in lockdown, and because it fell on the weekend, many people weren’t given an extra day off. Now, after 12 months of border closures and holiday plans canceled, just what will the 2021 commemoration of conflicts past look like?
Public holidays for some states only.
This year, the public holiday gods have overlooked us again. With Anzac Day falling on a Sunday, most of the country won’t get a long weekend. However, the ACT, Western Australia, and Queensland will all have Monday, April 26, public holidays. Like the Cocos Keeling Islands and Christmas Island, some other regional areas will also get the Monday off.
“This is a nice extra for workers in those places, but also a much-needed time to remember those brave men and women and their sacrifice,” said Angus Kidman, travel expert at Finder.
They will have to wait for the Queen’s birthday in June for their next long weekend for other states. For all states and territories other than Queensland and WA, taking off the days after the Queen’s Birthday – Tuesday, June 15 to Friday, June 18 – turns into nine days off for just four days of annual leave.
Anzac Day services in your state
Before the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland, residents were encouraged to attend Anzac Day events.“In times of strife, Queenslanders do what it takes to protect each other. We’ve done it in wartime, and we’re doing it now through the global pandemic,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wrote in a post on Twitter on March 24.
“Because we’ve worked together to keep safe, this year we can safely gather to mark the sacrifices of those who have served.” At present, Anzac services in the Sunshine State are all still due to go ahead. However, that could change depending on restrictions around the outbreak. Marches and Dawn Services will be held, including the usual parade through Brisbane’s CBD. Obviously, though, that could change should virus numbers climb again.
The Sydney CBD march has been granted an exemption to restrictions and will allow 10,000 people to train.
Across Greater Sydney and beyond, 5000 people will be able to attend a march or service as long as organizers have developed a COVID-19 safety plan.
RSL NSW State Secretary Jeff O’Brien said the organization has been working with the NSW Government to ensure Dawn Services, marches, and all other commemorative events can take place.