“I understand many people are concerned about the outbreak of COVID-19 and its potential effect on these international commemorative services,” Mr Chester said.
“While these services are run by the Australian government, we all need to be mindful that they are delivered in countries other than our own and we need to respect any decisions those countries make in relation to COVID-19.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in travelling to Turkey, with continued threat of terrorist attacks, particularly in the south-east.
It also warns travellers not to travel within 10km of the border with Syria or to Diyarbakir city.
There is also increased tensions in the region after Turkey declared its borders open to pressure the European Union into helping it handle the fallout from the war in neighbouring Syria.
Thousands of Turkish troops are supporting the last rebel forces holed up there in the north-western province of Idlib against the onslaught of Russian-backed Syrian government forces.
Thousands of Australians attend services at Anzac Cove and the Villers-Bretonneux, on the Western Front each year, with this year marking 75 years since the end of World War II.
Security screenings at both services are similar to airport style security, and Turkish and French authorities are responsible for security at Anzac Day commemorations in their respective countries.
Mr Chester said those planning to attend should register on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website and are strongly encouraged to read the DFAT travel advice for security and COVID-19 updates at the Smartraveller website.
“If the security or health advice changes, we will provide an update to travellers as soon as possible,” he said.
Australians authorities have played down the chances of imposing bans on public gatherings such as Anzac Day services or sporting events despite a growing number of confirmed cases across all states
“The possibility of (cancelling) events is always there, but that is a last resort,” Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said this week.
Rob Harris is the National Affairs Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based at Parliament House in Canberra