HUNDREDS of Poppy Day parades are at risk of being cancelled due to coronavirus, ministers were warned tonight.
Wreath-laying organisers have been left “high and dry” as the Government has failed to issue safety rules.
Ceremonies in villages, towns and cities across the country are in doubt because they have received no official guidance. Labour urged Defence Secretary Ben Wallace to step in to ensure our fallen heroes are remembered on November 8.
Many groups are desperate for advice on how to observe social-distancing rules — but are drawing a blank every time.
Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey said it was important to ensure a march-past by elderly people was carried out within the guidelines. But he claims there is so little information that some organisers may have to cancel.
He accused Mr Wallace of “passing the buck” when he assured him last week that he was working on a plan with the Culture Department.
Mr Healey added: “They have washed their hands of any concern about local Remembrance events and say their only concern in the parade in Whitehall.
“It’s a matter of regret important local tributes are being left to fend for themselves.”
Tonight, the MoD said: “Every effort will be made to ensure we pay our usual respect to the fallen and to our veterans, including in local areas.”
A Royal British Legion spokesman added: “Whilst local Remembrance services and parades are important, the safety and well-being of members of the public who attend or participate must remain the priority.”
How to be a poppy star
THE pandemic may have stopped thousands of sellers from hitting the streets — but it doesn’t have to stop you from buying a poppy. MIKE RIDLEY looks at some of the ways you can do your bit for the appeal by going to:
- Fundraise for appeal: Move to Remember and the 11/11 Challenge are among the fundraising suggestions from the appeal itself. Free fundraising packs on the website will give the help and support you will need.
- Poppies in the post: Help make up for the reduced number of volunteer collectors by requesting 20 poppies free of charge from the RBL — and then giving them to friends and family yourself in return for a donation.
- My poppy run 2020: Run, walk or jog any distance, anywhere and at any time. Get family and friends involved to raise cash. And buy a T-shirt to run in and a medal to give to yourself afterwards!
- Visit the poppy shop: There is an extensive range of products from poppy pins and jewellery to clothing, stationery and homeware. All profits fund the Legion’s work in supporting the Armed Forces community.
- Make online donation: Alternatively, you could just visit the British Legion’s website and make a donation. You can choose a one-off payment or set up a regular amount — and no amount is too small.
…OR POP INTO YOUR LOCAL SAINSBURY’S, TESCO, ASDA, ALDI OR MORRISONS AND BUY A POPPY
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