Guidelines on how Remembrance Sunday activities can go ahead have been published as new Covid-19 restrictions come into force for England with a second lockdown.
The government is advising local authorities in England and faith leaders that they can organise outdoor Remembrance Sunday events at a public war memorial or cenotaph, if they complete a Covid-19 risk assessment and take all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the virus.
The Remembrance Sunday event at the National Cenotaph will be adjusted this year to ensure the event is as safe as possible. Local events should follow the same guidelines. They should:
be outdoors, as transmission risks are significantly reduced
be short and focussed on wreath laying, with a reduced march past or parade only if social distancing can be maintained
take advantage of opportunities for wreath layers to represent wider groups
any small, military bands should observe social distancing. Buglers can perform outdoors at Remembrance Sunday events
keep numbers to a minimum, focussing attendance on those wishing to lay wreaths (more information on who can attend below)
take reasonable steps to minimise wider public viewing. The public can only attend the event with their own household or those in their support bubble, or individually with one other person from outside their household
observe social distancing at all times
According to Government guidance, only limited communal singing, involving the national anthem and one additional song, is permitted, providing additional measures – social distancing, songs of a few minutes or less, and cleaning of areas which are touched – are in place.
Event organisers are being advised to keep numbers of those participating in the event to a minimum. For the avoidance of doubt, the following people are legally permitted to attend events to commemorate Remembrance Sunday as participants. Attendees should observe social distancing at all times. Attendees should also take advantage of opportunities for wreath layers to represent wider groups.
people attending as part of their work (such as local councillors, local faith leaders, the local MP)
people attending in a voluntary capacity on behalf of a recognised organisation
members of the armed forces
veterans of the armed forces, and/or their representatives or carers
Members of the public are legally permitted to stop and watch the event as spectators, but event organisers should take reasonable steps to discourage the public from attending events, and be mindful of the risk that such events pose, especially to veterans who are often elderly.
Where members of the public do attend, they must only attend the event with their own household or those in their support bubble, or one other person (children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on 2 people meeting outside) and observe social distancing rules.
Like so much else, Remembrance Sunday will be different this year but it is more important than ever to remember the fallen and support our veterans.