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Cemeteries in Redditch Borough have reopened after the Government confirmed that they should be open if possible.

The Government clarified this weekend (April 18) that while crematoria must remain closed to the public except for funerals and burials under the new Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, cemeteries should remain open if possible.

Mike Birkinshaw, Redditch Borough Council’s Bereavement Services Manager, said: “In line with the latest Government advice and after a risk assessment, we are re-opening our cemeteries to pedestrians.

“Unfortunately Redditch Crematorium and its surrounds must remain closed to the public except for funeral and burial services, however the cemetery there, Abbey Cemetery, is now open. Thank you for your continued understanding at this difficult and changing time.”

Measures to help people say goodbye as safely as possible remain in place before, during and after services in Redditch.

They include keeping mourners to close family only or, if there are no close family, close friends, keeping a minimum distance between people of two metres (6 feet), and asking mourners to remain in their cars before, and remove tissues and service sheets after, funerals. At Redditch Crematorium, the distance between pews has also been increased, hymn books removed, and livestreaming ceremonies made free to make remote attendance more accessible.

These arrangements remain subject to updates at short notice, as Government guidelines are subject to change.

For more details of this and all the latest borough council Coronavirus service updates, please visit www.redditchbc.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Editor's note

This article was changed on June 8, 2020 with the updated and current controls to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, which had changed since the date of publication.