The COVID-19 virus is starting to impact on military shows, events, exhibitions, exercises and museums around the world with many being cancelled, postponed or closed.
In the UK, several other museums have joined the Imperial War Museums in taking a decision to close its sites in line with Public Health England advice.
The Royal Air Force Museum said its London, Cosford and Stafford facilities will be closed temporarily from 6pm on March 17 until at least May 1, 2020, while the Coventry Transport Museum announced that it would also close ‘temporarily’ from 5pm on Wednesday, March 18.
The Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (REME) said the ‘unfortunate’ decision has had to be made to postpone 4 Armoured Close Support Battalions 20th Birthday celebrations on April 4.
Crouch Military Sales announced in a social media post that its charity open day in May had been “postponed to a later date”.
The National Museums of Canada announced on it’s website that due to the COVID-19 virus it had taken decision to close museums across Canada to visitors and all other groups, effective from March 14 “until further notice”.
“We regret the impact of this decision on the individuals, families and groups who use our facilities. However, we believe that this decision is in the best interests of all the communities we serve.”
The US Army said it had changed the ‘size and scope’ of exercise Defender-Europe 20. “As of March 13, all movement of personnel and equipment from the United States to Europe has ceased.
“The health, safety and readiness of our military, civilians, and family members is our primary concern,” the army said in a statement. “As we make the appropriate adjustments, the linked exercises to Exercise Defender-Europe 20 – Dynamic Front, Joint Warfighting Assessment, Saber Strike and Swift Response – will not be conducted.
“We anticipate the armoured brigade combat team already deployed to Europe will conduct gunnery and other combined training events with Allies as part of a modified Allied Spirit exercise. Forces already deployed to Europe for other linked exercises will return to the United States.”
However, it’s not all bad news with The War and Peace Revival saying the July show is still on. In a statement organisers said: “The War and Peace Revival team are continually working hard to ensure another spectacular show for 2020. We are carefully monitoring the situation regarding the Covid-19 outbreak and planning the measures needed to ensure the safety of all exhibitors and visitors at the show.
“We will constantly review our plans according to the government’s latest advice which is currently updated almost daily. There are a few months to go until the War and Peace Revival and we are hopeful that the situation will improve by July. Until then we would like to thank all our exhibitors and visitors for your support, stay well and we look forward to seeing you at the War and Peace Revival 2020.”
CMV has been monitoring the official Twitter accounts of museums, organisations and related institutions both in the UK and abroad for new developments:
National Museums Scotland @NtlMuseumsScot: As a result of #COVID2019 we are closing all four sites at 5pm today (17 March) until further notice (1/4)
REME @Official_REME: Due to the Coronavirus the unfortunate decision has had to be made to postpone 4 Armoured Close Support Battalions 20th Birthday celebrations on April 4th.
Coventry Transport Museum @CovTM: Following updates from the Government and guidelines from Public Health England in relation to Coronavirus (Covid-19), Coventry Transport Museum will be temporarily closed to the public from 5pm on Wednesday 18 March 2020. Statement here: transport-museum.com/news/1498/visi…
RAF Museum: The health and wellbeing of our visitors, volunteers and staff is our highest priority. In line with the latest advice from Public Health England we have closed our London and Cosford until at least 1 May 2020. For further info please read: rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-g…
RAF Museum@RAFMUSEUM: As of end of play yesterday (16/03/2020) we stopped our Dambusters VR experience in London and Spitfire 360 Degree experience in Cosford for the foreseeable future. For further details please go to: rafmuseum.org.uk/about-us/coron… For refunds, email firstname.lastname@example.org. pic.twitter.com/aCiZGmN87z
Imperial War Museums @I_W_M: In line with advice from Public Health England, IWM has taken the decision to close all of its sites in effect from the end of today (Tuesday 17 March) until further notice. © IWM (TR 9)
NWWIIM Education @WWIIEducation: Starting today, we’re posting a resource a day for students & teachers who are now learning at home. Check out the Museum’s @Flipgrid page where students can Ask a Museum Educator! We’ll respond to select questions daily! flipgrid.com/wwiimuseum @WWIImuseum #sschat
Meanwhile, staff at Classic Military Vehicle magazine have been told to work from home as of March 17 until further notice. This should not impact on production or the dispatch of our magazine.
We will continue to update you as best we can should this change. Some postal services may be delayed. If you need to get in touch, you can do so by emailing:
– Editorial: Andrew Stone at email@example.com; or
– Advertising: Tom Lunn at firstname.lastname@example.org
*This story will be updated as more information becomes available