The Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the planning of this year’s remembrance events. The Government’s regional COVID alert levels and the wide variety of arrangements and responsibilities for Remembrance events mean offering comprehensive advice at a national level is challenging. However, at all tiers of alert levels, there is provision for exception to allow Remembrance Sunday events to take place provided they are:
- Organised by public bodies such as Town, Parish, District or Borough Councils, Charities such as the Royal British Legion or recognised places of worship
- Appropriately risk assessed and delivered in a COVID-secure manner
- Comply with the Government’s national guidance on outdoor events
(specifically the regulations state that in all tiers, a Remembrance Sunday gathering is exempt from the general indoor and outdoor gathering restrictions if (a) the gathering takes place to commemorate Remembrance Sunday; (b )the persons attending the gathering are limited to (i) persons there as part of their work, (ii) persons providing voluntary services in connection with the event, (iii) members of the armed forces, (iv) veterans of the armed forces or their representatives or carers, and (v) spectators who participate in the gathering alone or as a member of a qualifying group; and (c) the gathering organiser or manager takes the required precautions in relation to the gathering).
SLCC recognises the helpful guidance offered by organisations such as the Royal British Legion (RBL) and the National Association of Civic Officers (NACO) and fully supports their ‘Remember from Home’ and ‘Remember in Safety’ campaigns which promote individual acts of remembrance over public events.
Some suggested examples of alternative approaches include:
- Encouraging personal / at home acts of remembrance such as services in domestic gardens
- The use of virtual meeting platforms (such as Zoom) to host online Remembrance services
- The use of social media channels (such as Facebook) to host online Remembrance services
- Online books of Remembrance
- Live streaming of formal COVID-secure acts of Remembrance forum
Government guidance on the safe use of places of worship