Full Anzac Day dawn services and big marches will be held across the nation this year for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There will be no crowd limits at the state’s main dawn service at the Shrine of Remembrance, while spectators are expected to line city streets to pay their respects to veterans marching through Melbourne’s CBD.
And in more good news, the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting clear skies and a top of 21 degrees for the Victorian capital.
RSL Victoria state president Dr Robert Webster said the opportunity for the public to commemorate this year’s Anzac Day together would be particularly meaningful.
“After two years of pandemic restrictions, this year’s Anzac Day is a wonderful opportunity for the public to reunite, as they have done for decades, and be part of paying their respects to those who have and are currently serving and sacrificed their lives for our freedom,” he said.
Here’s our guide to what’s open and what’s closed on this public holiday Monday, and where the state’s dawn services are taking place.
The dawn service at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance in 2021.Credit:Christopher Hopkins
Where and when is Melbourne’s dawn service and march?
Victoria’s major dawn service will be held at the Shrine of Remembrance on Birdwood Avenue from 5.30am.
Tickets or bookings are not required for those wishing to commemorate the event at the Shrine Reserve.
The service can also be watched from the comfort of your own home via livestreams on the Shrine of Remembrance’s website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Melbourne’s Anzac Day march in 2021.Credit:Chris Hopkins
Older veterans and those with a disability will travel along St Kilda Road to the Shrine at 8.30pm, before the official party leads the march from Princes Bridge in the Melbourne CBD to the Shrine at 9am.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton on Sunday urged anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to refrain from attending Anzac Day services or marches.
“If you have symptoms, stay home and get a test,” he said in his daily COVID-19 update. “As important as the Anzac Day March and our Dawn Services are, there may be elderly and vulnerable people there we need to protect.”
Are roads closed and public transport operating?
The section of St Kilda Road between the CBD and Park Street will be closed from 12am to 5.30pm on Monday for the event.
The Department of Transport said other roads around the Shrine may also be closed until 2pm.
Public transport will run to a Saturday timetable on Anzac Day, with additional early trains into the city and extra trams running along St Kilda Road ahead of the dawn service.
Where else are dawn services being held?
If you’re unable to get to the Shrine this year, many RSL sub-branches are holding local dawn services and marches.
Some of the venues for outer Melbourne and regional Victoria dawn services this year include Ballarat’s Sturt Street Cenotaph (from 6am), Pall Mall Bendigo (from 5.50am), Geelong Peace Memorial (from 6am), Sunshine RSL (from 6.45am), Ringwood RSL (from 5.30am), Portarlington Cenotaph (from 6.30am), Oakleigh Cenotaph (from 6am), Moe RSL Cenotaph (from 6am), Mildura’s Henderson Park (from 5.50am), Melton Cenotaph (from 6am) and the Frankston War Memorial (from 6am).
A full list of dawn services and Anzac Day marches connected to RSL branches can be found here.
Victorian shoppers will be welcomed to major retail centres like Chadstone from 1pm on Anzac Day. Credit:Chris Hopkins
Are supermarkets and other shops open?
Anzac Day is a restricted trading day, so most Coles, Woolworths and Aldi stores and bottle shops will not open until 1pm.
Many IGA and Bunnings stores will remain open, but hours may differ. Check with your local store for details.
Major shopping centres Chadstone, Northland, Eastland, Highpoint, Melbourne Central and the main Westfield centres – Doncaster, Southland and Fountain Gate – will also be closed until 1pm.
Chemists, fruit and vegetable shops and petrol stations can remain open. Most banks will be closed all day.
Sean Dry and friends Tim Reilly, Steve Woodley and Phil Nicol playing two-up last year ahead of Anzac Day. Credit:Wolter Peeters
Fancy some two-up?
The beloved Anzac Day tradition will be spinning back into Victorian pubs and RSLs again on Monday.
For the uninitiated, the gambling game requires participants to guess if two coins thrown up in the air will land with both showing heads, tails, or one of each. Two-up was played in the trenches during World War I.
Venues where you can play two-up in Melbourne include Young and Jackson on Flinders Street (two-up from 10am), The Mail Exchange Hotel (two-up from 12pm), The Corner Hotel in Richmond (open from 12pm), Orrong Hotel in Armadale (two-up from 2pm), Flemington Racecourse and at RSLs including Geelong, Bentleigh, Wangaratta and Cheltenham-Moorabbin.
Feeling sniffly? You can still get a PCR test.Credit:Chris Hopkins
Where can you get a PCR test on Anzac Day?
Some Victorian COVID-19 testing centres will be closed on Anzac Day, but the following major testing sites will be open as normal or operating with reduced hours.
- Albury Wodonga Health Smythe St walk-in clinic
- Alfred Hospital walk-through testing clinic
- Ballarat Creswick Road drive-through testing site
- Bendigo Health drive-through testing site
- Box Hill Hospital Eastern Health walk-through testing clinic
- Chadstone Golfers Drive drive-through testing site
- Geelong Respiratory Clinic (Kardinia Health) drive-through testing site
- Heidelberg Dorevitch drive-through testing site
- Hoppers Crossing 4Cyte Pathology walk-through testing clinic
- Melbourne Showgrounds drive-through testing site
- Mildura Deakin Avenue walk-in clinic
- Oakleigh East 4Cyte Pathology drive-through testing site
- Royal Children’s Hospital drive-through testing site
- Sandringham Hospital walk-through testing clinic
- Shepparton Goulburn Valley Health Campus walk-through testing clinic
- Sunshine 4Cyte Pathology drive-through testing site
- Werribee ACL drive-through testing site
A full list of Victorian testing sites open can be accessed here.
With Angus Dalton
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