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People are being urged to help keep their families as safe as possible after the lockdown limit of ten close family members at funerals was lifted.

Previously attendance at funerals had been limited to just ten mourners at Redditch Crematorium, as part of a range of strict safety measures that ensured services could continue throughout lockdown.

Now eased lockdown restrictions in England mean that, with other safety measures still in place, more close family members, but not friends unless no family is available, can attend funerals.

Crematorium staff are urging relatives to think twice about attending a funeral service as, although safety measures will be in place, the more people who turn up, the increased likelihood of the Coronavirus spreading.

Redditch Borough Council’s Bereavement Services Manager, Mike Birkinshaw, said: “With restrictions lifted it’s over to the families to decide for themselves which close family members attend.

“But please remember that families must comply with the law and guidance on this and what is meant by close family is available from the Crematorium staff and Council website or from your Funeral Director.

“We will of course maintain strict safety measures but while these help to reduce the risks as much as possible but please remember the more people who get together, the higher the risk of the Coronavirus spreading.”

Cllr Brandon Clayton whose portfolio covers Bereavement Services, added: “To make it easier for family and friends to attend remotely, I am delighted that the Council is footing the bill for the webcasting of funerals.

“If you are attending the funeral of a close family member at this time, you can wear a mask or cloth face covering, if you wish.

“And of course observe the Government’s Coronavirus guidelines by staying at least two metres apart from members of other households and washing hands regularly.”

Safety markings and various other safety measures are now in place at Redditch Crematorium together with updated signs explaining the changes.

For more information on this and all other borough council Coronavirus news, please see www.redditchbc.gov.uk/coronavirus.