Until recently, only immediate family members have been allowed to attend funeral services during the coronavirus pandemic. But this week, the guidance has been updated in line with the Health Protection Regulations 2020.
New changes include allowing a modest number of both family and friends to attend a funeral, and the number of people who can attend a funeral.
The new guidance also allows mourners to stay overnight outside their home – though it is advised this should only be with your own household or support bubble, or with members of one other household (in which case social distancing should be maintained).
Those self-isolating or showing symptoms of Covid19 should not attend funerals, and mourners are encouraged to wear face coverings.
Mourners who are clinically extremely vulnerable should maintain strict social distancing and follow the latest guidance available.
In light of updated government guidelines on how to best protect the public during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, Manchester City Council has eased the restrictions for mourners attending funeral services at Blackley Crematorium and burial services in Manchester’s cemeteries.
The number of mourners permitted to attend funerals has increased to a limit of 30 people.
For services in chapels, the number able to attend will depend on the chapel size so that social distancing can still be maintained at two metres.
From Wednesday 8th July, Blackley Crematorium is allowing a maximum of 15 people to attend services in the East and West Chapels.
A maximum of 15 people will be also able to attend services in the North Chapel at Southern Cemetery.
From Friday 10th July, the Centre Chapel in Blackley Crematorium will be reopened for bookings, and a maximum of 30 people may attend services here.
Up to 30 people can attend graveside burial services.
However, it has been agreed by all Greater Manchester Authorities that should local infection rates indicate a significant increase, this will lead to a review of local public health measures within the region.
This could result in a reduction to the number of mourners allowed at services across Greater Manchester.
“We hope these new measures will protect and keep safe those mourning the loss of a loved one, as well as the staff facilitating the services in hugely difficult circumstances,” said Councillor Luthfur Rahman.
“It has been a truly challenging time for so many people losing friends and family and not being able to attend funerals.
“We will continue to work with funeral directors, clergy members and celebrants to ensure people are laid to rest with dignity and respect in the company of as many close friends and family as possible, whilst still preserving the safety of all those in attendance.
“My condolences go out to all those who have been affected, we will continue to offer support to family members in such incredibly hard times.”