Anzac Day services have been cancelled in Western Australia and Tasmania after the federal government banned mass gatherings in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Returned and Services League of Australia WA chief executive John McCourt told ABC radio on Monday plans were underway for some sort of commemoration for April 25 using social media and live streaming.

RSL-held services and subsequent marches have been called off in Tasmania.

“It was a tough decision because a lot of the sub-branches would have been organising these events from February onwards,” State President Robert Dick told AAP.

“A lot of preparation work has already been done. But I emphasise the fact that public safety and wellbeing is more important.”

Mr Dick said many older veterans fall in the group most at-risk from coronavirus.

“The consequences could be devastating and we don’t want to put people in that position,” he said.

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“We’re asking people in their own private way to pay respects to our serving and ex-service members.

“Even if it’s like on Remembrance Day, where you take a moment around 11 o’clock to pause and reflect on those who have gone before.”

RSL NSW is expected to decide on Monday whether Anzac Day marches and parades will go ahead.

The WA government declared a state of emergency on Sunday, warning those who breach the 14-day self-isolation ban after returning from overseas will be fined up to $50,000.

AAP

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