2021 Anzac Day ceremonies: Here’s the rules for each state and territory

Mar 27, 2021
Anzac Day public parades will go ahead next month, but with differing rules in each state and territory. Source: Getty

Australians are set to commemorate Anzac Day with public parades and marches going ahead in most states and territories this weekend, giving many the first time to publicly mark the occasion in two years.

Ceremonies around the world were cancelled last year due to Covid-19, with Australians taking to their private driveways for Light Up the Dawn – continuing the tradition of honouring our service personnel. The cancellation was the first time Anzac Day services had been cancelled since the outbreak of the Spanish flu in 1919. Light Up the Dawn will also be going ahead for its second year, with the RSL encouraging Australians to consider this one way they can commemorate if they are unable to attend a service.

New South Wales

Marches, dawn services and other commemoration services across New South Wales will be going ahead, however a maximum of 5,000 people are allowed to attend, and COVIDSafe practices will be in place, including social distancing and contact tracing.

If you would like to register to march at the Sydney CBD March, you can register via the RSL NSW page. There will be a maximum of 10,000 marchers allowed to participate.

The majority of local RSL sub-branches across NSW still plan to hold services, and you can check the details of your local branch here.


Anzac Day commemorations will take place as usual in Queensland, with marches and dawn services to be held as they would any other year. Details of where your nearest service will be held can be found here.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement in February, saying there would be no restrictions on numbers at outdoor Queensland Anzac Day events or the march in Brisbane’s CBD. “In times of strife, Queenslanders do what it takes to protect each other,” she said. “We’ve done it in wartime, and we’re doing it now through the global pandemic.”


Victorians have been told to mark the day locally or at home to avoid big crowds, however, many local Anzac Day activities are taking place at RSL Sub-Branches across the state, including Melbourne’s Anzac Day Parade. Details of where your nearest service will be held can be found here.

Melbourne’s Dawn Service at the Shrine of Remembrance has been capped at 1,400 people and the CBD Parade has been capped at 5,500 marchers. Attendees are required to apply online and will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis. You must apply for permission via the Shrine of Remembrance website to attend both events, with applications opening next month.

Melbourne’s CBD Parade route will be shortened, with veterans required to march 1.5 metres apart in groups according to their age and coronavirus risk. COVIDSafe marshals will be deployed to ensure social distancing and contact tracing are followed.


The RSL War Memorial has received the go-ahead from ACT Health to hold the Anzac Day Dawn Service on Sunday, April 25, as a ticketed event, with COVIDSafe measures in place. All tickets for 2021 have now been exhausted.

Western Australia

This year, RSL WA’s full service will return, including the Kings Park Dawn Service, the Gunfire Breakfast at Government House, the March through the CBD, and the Commemorative Service at Perth Concert Hall.

Perth’s Dawn Service will proceed at Kings Park and Botanic Garden on Sunday, April 25, but is limited to 10,000 people. Tickets are free but patrons will need to register online via the link here. Registrations will close once the 10,000-person limit is reached, but are still currently bookable.

The Rotary Club of Perth’s Gunfire Breakfast will also be proceeding, catering for 2,000 people, pending Covid-19 restrictions.

Local sub-branch information is available here.

South Australia

South Australia has had to cancel and restrict some local RSL sub-branch events, however, the Adelaide Anzac Day events will still be proceeding, including the RSL Youth Vigil, Dawn Service, March and Service of Remembrance. All events will have limitations to meet Covid-19 requirements.

Contact tracing and audience controls will apply at the Adelaide Dawn Service and Service of Remembrance, with booking system details announced in early April. Police and security personnel will monitor and enforce this.

RSL South Australia says, “A full list of Anzac Day services will not be made available this year due to cancellation of planned events, venue changes, public attendance limitations and the uncertainty of meeting Covid-19 requirements and crowd management by volunteer groups with finite resources and budgets.”

RSL South Australia says to check with local organisers to see if they are proceeding and if public attendance is permitted.


The Hobart Anzac Day parade and commemorative service this year will go ahead with limited numbers. Those wishing to participate are required to register their attendance in order to receive an official entry ticket. You can register here.

A full list of Anzac Services being held around Tasmania is available via the RSL TAS website.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory’s commemorations will return to normal this year, however, the Darwin RSL Sub-branch is requesting anyone who wishes to attend, to register their attendance here. COVIDSafe measures will be in place. More information on the commemorations around the state can be found on the Northern Territory government page.

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How will you be commemorating Anzac Day this year?

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