Remembrance

Remembrance 2020: What Are The Guidelines For Events During Lockdown?

Guidance on how Remembrance Sunday activities can be held have been published.

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. 

Among those legally permitted to be at events as participants are individuals attending as part of their work, like members of the Armed Forces and veterans, as well as local councillors and faith leaders.

Local authorities, faith leaders, and members of the Royal British Legion are permitted to organise outdoor events at a public war memorial or cenotaph as part of commemorations on 8 November.

Events should be outdoors to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus and those who attend must be socially distanced at all times. 

Ceremonies should be short and focused on wreath-laying, while a march-past or parade can take place only if attendees are socially distanced.

The guidelines have been set out for Remembrance events as England enters a second lockdown for four weeks from 5 November.

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.

Cenotaph London
Members of the public have been urged to stay away from the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday (Picture: PA).

Spectators are legally allowed to stop and watch, although reasonable steps should be taken to "minimise wider public viewing", according to the guidance.

Members of the public are only permitted to attend an event with members of their own household or support bubble, or individually with one other person from outside their household.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed on 2 November that a national ceremony at the Cenotaph in central London will take place - although this year’s event will be on a much smaller scale and the public have been urged to stay away from the Cenotaph and watch the service on TV instead.

"We are certainly not cancelling Remembrance Sunday events but we must be mindful of the risks such events pose, especially to veterans who are often elderly," the spokesman said.

The national ceremony is usually attended by senior politicians, members of the Royal Family, and about 10,000 veterans and members of the public.

Additionally, the majority of regional councils in England are encouraging people to observe the traditional two-minute silence from home.

Cover image: Poppies and crosses at the 2019 service at the Field of Remembrance in Edinburgh (Picture: Poppyscotland).