Celebrations for Guernsey's 75th anniversary of Liberation are to be 'radically re-shaped' to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The island's government says organisers will now focus on developing a programme of events which recognise the importance of the occasion, whilst following the advice from Public Health Services to reduce large gatherings.
The States says the survivors of the Occupation, who would normally attend the event, are very vulnerable to the pandemic. They say that medical advice is being followed to ensure 'they are not placed at additional risk.'
I appreciate there are many islanders who are looking forward to Liberation Day and all the amazing events planned, so there will be an understandable disappointment however much the community understands the need to re-shape events. We will do everything we can to ensure the day is appropriately commemorated while at the same time aligning events with the advice of Public Health Services, conscious that circumstances are currently changing daily and Liberation Day is several weeks away.
Efforts are being made to ensure that people can still enjoy the 75th anniversary, with organisers saying that technology will be used so people can enjoy the celebrations from their own home if necessary.
While it is too soon to state explicitly what the re-shaped day will look like, the community can rest assured that we remain committed to marking Liberation Day with due regard to the significance of the occasion and to the recognition our war-time generation are rightly due. We hope to be able to continue with the morning wreath laying and church service, and by broadcasting them rather than having large numbers of people in attendance, but at this stage it is too soon to say for certain.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were scheduled to be the Royal visitors to both Guernsey and Jersey for this year's 75th anniversary, however their visit has now been cancelled in light of coronavirus.