City of Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney said he was disappointed by the approach council has been forced to take in organising this year's Anzac Day services.
Under protocols put in place as a condition of council receiving a permit to hold the event from the Department of Health and Human Services, Ballarat's main Anzac Day commemorations on Sturt Street will be free, ticketed events.
A stretch of at least two blocks along Sturt Street around the cenotaph will be fenced off from the early morning to host the dawn service, march and 11am service with entry only being allowed to those who booked a free ticket online.
Attendees will also have to scan a QR code upon entry as an additional measure of COVID-19 contact tracing.
Cr Moloney said despite the restrictions, it was great to be able to hold a service after it was forced to take a year off.
"It's good that we can have an Anzac Day service, I think we all see it as something very important that we need to commemorate," he said.
"Unfortunately though, we have some fairly strict protocols in place and that's not our decision, that's the Department of Health that requires that as a condition of the permit that we have to apply for as a city."
Cr Moloney said the restrictions were frustrating considering the significantly larger crowds recently at sporting events in Ballarat and Melbourne.
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"We're probably only going to see 3000 to 5000 people at the Anzac services, so while on one hand we absolutely appreciate the need to COVID track, I would have thought scanning a QR code would have been more than enough," he said.
"It's a bit unfortunate we've got to go through a free ticketed event but I guess we're at a point where we think 'so be it', we want the event to go ahead and if those are the requirements put on us then we'll make do."
Capacity will be limited to one person per two square metres and limits have also been placed the the amount of seating available, with any seating reserved for veterans, and the number of people in the bands and choirs.
"When we do the math on that, what that basically means is that we can only have 4500 people in the space we have because we've got almost 300 staff, contractors and marchers that will will make up a big part of it as well," Cr Moloney said.
"While our cap at this stage is 4500, we normally only get around about 3000 for the dawn service. However, the 11am service can sometimes get up to 7000, that's the bigger concern in making sure we've got enough space for people.
"It takes a bit away from a very sombre occasion but hopefully people can still pay their respects in a way we weren't able to do last year."
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