24 March 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update

Travel advisory and other information surrounding Covid-19 and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Last updated 24 March.

TRAVEL ADVISORY

In the light of the World Health Organization declaring Covid-19 (commonly referred to as the coronavirus) a global pandemic, many countries across the world have introduced travel restrictions and other measures to reduce the spread of the virus and to keep as many people as safe and healthy as possible.

The CWGC would like to stress that while our sites remain open where possible, our operations will be scaled back in line with local health advice. In addition, there are widespread business closures across the globe – including to the tourism infrastructure – which may also affect your ability to travel.

We are currently aware of closures across Europe, including Italy, France and Belgium, as well as closures across parts of Asia and Africa, including South Africa and India.

Before making any plans to visit any of our sites, please check the local information and advice.

CWGC will continue to monitor the situation and will update accordingly.

Reburials and rededications

Please note that scheduled reburial and rededication services in Spring have been postponed due to travel restrictions and other measures to limit the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19). Any future events will be assessed in line with local health advice.

Commemorations and Events at CWGC Locations

In the light of travel restrictions and other measures to limit the spread of Coronavirus events at CWGC sites may be subject to cancellation or postponement. Please confirm with event organisers before travelling.

Where possible, if we have been informed, cancellations that we are aware of will be listed here:

  • The Australian and New Zealand governments have elected to cancel the Anzac Day ceremonies at Gallipoli - more information available here.
  • The Australian and New Zealand governments have also cancelled Anzac Day ceremonies across Belgium.
  • The Australian government has cancelled its other overseas Anzac Day ceremonies, including Villers-Brettonneux - more information available here.
  • Dunkirk Little Ships 80th Anniversary has been postponed. - more information available here.
  • D-Day 76 events at Bayeux War Cemetery have been cancelled.
  • Multiple cemeteries in Italy have been closed to the public and will allow no visitors for the foreseeable future.

If in doubt, please check with the event organiser and current advice before travelling.

CWGF Interns

In the light of the country wide restrictions coming into force in both Belgium and France, the CWGC has taken the decision to bring the CWGF Interns back to their families in the UK.

Visiting the CWGC Archive

In the light of travel restrictions and other measures to limit the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19), our archive is currently closed to members of the public for the foreseeable future. It will reopen when it is safe and appropriate to do so. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The CWGC Experience

The CWGC Experience will remain closed the for time being. We apologise for any inconvenience.

CWGC Ieper Information Centre

The CWGC Information Centre will remain closed for the time being. We apologise for any inconvenience.

The Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate

In response to the growing incidence of the coronavirus, from Saturday 14 March 2020 and until further notice the following measures will apply to the daily Last Post Ceremony at 2000 hours under the Menin Gate Memorial:

  • The ceremony will be restricted to an absolute minimum; namely, the playing of the Last Post as a tribute to the soldiers of the Commonwealth who fell for our freedom.
  • No public allowed under the Menin Gate and we ask people not to be present.

For more information, please see: www.lastpost.be

A flower at Deville Rose Cemetery

The CWGC Experience will remain closed the for time being

Latest News

We are saddened to confirm that despite the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, a war grave plot in the north of England has been vandalised. The recently laid turf at Leeds (Harehills) Cemetery was ripped up and thrown at the Cross of Sacrifice and screen wall, bearing the names of World War dead.

Our charity arm, the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF) has introduced a new interactive way for families and young women to explore the story of the remarkable spy princess, Noor Inayat-Khan.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission can confirm that Eyes On, Hands On will be suspended until further notice due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.