Our goal was to address the safety of major gynaecologic cancer surgery without routine preoperative COVID-19 testing in the COVID-19 era. The databases of seven gynaecologic cancer centres were searched in order to identify all consecutive gynaecologic cancer patients undergoing major surgery between March 11, 2020 and May 15, 2020 for this retrospective, case-control study. The case group consisted of patients with histopathologically confirmed gynaecologic cancers, and each case was matched with two counterparts who had undergone primary surgery before the COVID-19 pandemic. The case and the control groups were compared in terms of length of hospital stay, admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), intraoperative and postoperative complications. During the study period, 154 women with gynaecologic cancer undergoing major surgery were identified. Although the case group had more co-morbidities compared to the control group (103/154 vs. 178/308, respectively; p = .04), the median length of hospital stays, the rate of ICU admission, intraoperative complication rates and postoperative complication rates were similar in the two groups. Gynaecologic cancer surgery may be performed safely in the COVID-19 era with similar rates of ICU admission, intraoperative and postoperative complications compared to the patients operated before the COVID-19 pandemic.IMPACT STATEMENT What is already known on this subject? Many societies have announced their guidelines about the surgical management of gynaecologic cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, most of them are not evidence-based and mostly on expert opinions. What do the results of this study add? The main findings of this retrospective, case-control study indicate that the short-term (30 day) outcomes of gynaecologic cancer patients undergoing major surgery in the COVID-19 era are similar to those who had been operated before the COVID-19 pandemic. The length of hospital stays, the rates of admission to the ICU, intraoperative and postoperative complications were comparable between women undergoing major gynaecologic cancer surgery in the COVID-19 era and the women who had been operated before the pandemic. What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? We can suggest that definitive surgery may be performed for gynaecologic cancer patients in the COVID-19 era if the resources permit and appropriate precautions such as social distancing, isolation and the use of personal protective equipment are taken.