Coronavirus restrictions will impact Remembrance Day services - what you need to know
On 11 November, millions of citizens across the Commonwealth will pause to mark the 102nd anniversary of the signing of the First World War armistice.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, commemorations will take a different form in 2020, with ceremonies across the UK already cancelled because of social distancing restrictions.
Major ceremonies involving the Royal Family, meanwhile, have been stripped back.
Here’s what you need to know about Remembrance Day in 2020 - and how you can show your respect while observing coronavirus restrictions.
How have Remembrance Day services been affected?
The government has said that local remembrance events will be required to observe social distancing rules, including limits on the number of attendees.
It stipulates that gatherings involving more than six people will need to undergo a thorough risk assessment and “will need to be organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body.”
The government has also advised that, although there will need to be limits on those allowed to attend ceremonies in areas affected by Tier 3 regulations, members of the armed forces, veterans and the carers are still permitted to do so.
What will Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph look like this year?
The Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in London, which is typically attended by thousands, will be stripped back for 2020 in order to limit mass gatherings.
The Royal British Legion confirmed that the event will be closed for the first time in its history.
In a statement the organisation said, “Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and in light of the risks posed, the annual Remembrance Sunday March Past the Cenotaph will not take place this year.
“We recognise this will be deeply disappointing for all who were due to take part and it is not a step that has been taken lightly. This decision has been taken by the Government based on expert advice to protect the health and well-being of those who would have been travelling to and participating in the event. The Government led Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph will continue to go ahead as a closed ceremony.”
How can I mark Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday?
Despite the absence of mass gatherings, the Royal British Legion is still asking citizens to pay their respects.
It has asked people to mark the day “appropriately,” by taking part in remote and socially distanced Remembrance activity, whether that be watching the service on television or pausing for the Two Minute Silence in their home or on their doorsteps.
The Poppy Appeal is also running as usual despite the pandemic, and the symbols of respect will be available to purchase from local supermarkets in return for a donation.
Donations can also be made here.