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Cemeteries reopening to the public

Published on Monday, 20th April 2020

We understand that this is a difficult time for families.

Following the guidance from central government and announcement from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, we will be opening our cemeteries to the public as of 1pm today. There are however guidelines for people to adhere to when visiting:

  1. We ask all our residents to follow Government and Public Health England guidance and adhere to social distancing advice. Social distancing must be observed at all times, you should stay at least 2 metres away from other people at all times unless they are members of your own household. Full government guidelines on social distancing, self-isolation and hygiene, can be found here. Please read the guidelines before visiting the cemetery and wash your hands when you get home. Anyone who may fall into vulnerable groups or have underlying heath conditions are recommended to stay at home and keep safe.
  2. Please do not visit the cemetery if you are displaying any symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19) which include either:
  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

    More advice can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms-and-what-to-do/

3.  In order to protect staff, please do not approach or get close to any ground maintenance operatives or funeral directors in the cemetery.

4.  If a funeral is taking place (or a grave has been excavated) then you must stay away from that area.

Funeral restrictions

As per Government guidelines there will be restrictions and no more than 10 mourners will be allowed at any graveside service.  This allows for:

  • four mourners at the graveside
  • six further mourners at an appropriate distance at least 5 metres away (this may be subject to change)

The FBCA (Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities) have indicated that these 10 mourners should be made up of the following:

  1. Spouse / partner
  2. Parents / carers
  3. Brothers / sisters
  4. Children (and partners)

Councillor Ian Lloyd, portfolio holder for Arts & Leisure said:

“The decision to close the cemeteries was not taken lightly, but in line with Government Regulations and I am now pleased to say that following the recent announcements from Robert Jenrick, we can now once again open the cemeteries to allow bereaved families to tend to their loved ones’ graves. Please could everyone attending be sure to abide by the social distancing guidelines to ensure the safety of all.”

 

Cemetery opening times are:

March:  9.00am until 5.30pm

April:  9.00am until 7.00pm

May until August:  9.00am until 8.00pm

September: 9.00am until 7.00pm

October:  9.00am until 5.30pm

November until February:  9.00am until 4.30pm

 

STAY AT HOME – PROTECT THE NHS – SAVE LIVES

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.