Following governments announcement on further measures on social distancing, Tameside Council will be restricting chapel services at Dukinfield Crematorium Chapel, Denton Chapel and Droylsden Chapel to 10 mourners.
The decision comes as social venues across the borough and country have closed and the public are urged to stay home and limit all but essential travel in order to further limit the spread of coronavirus.
New measures will protect the health and wellbeing of bereaved families and staff as mourners are being encouraged to wait in their cars or outside the chapel ahead of services, rather than congregating in the waiting room to reduce the risk of infection.
Service books have also been removed from the chapels as a precaution and hand shaking is also being discouraged with ministers, celebrants and funeral directors until further notice. If you or a member of your family has symptoms of the virus, you are advised to follow government advice and self-isolate at home as needed.
Extra cleaning processes are in place in all public areas at the chapels and crematorium and the webcasting of funeral services will be offered to those who can’t attend.
Funeral Directors are being advised to have conversations with bereaved families regarding the number of mourners at funerals, the type of funeral service being requested and the age profile of those expected to attend so that they can advise on the national social distancing guidelines and any restrictions on their services.
Tameside Council Executive Leader, Cllr Brenda Warrington said: “This is a difficult but necessary decision in order to protect our residents and staff. We are of course sympathetic to the fact that this affects people at what is already an emotional and difficult time and we are doing everything we can to support bereaved families. We have a strong working relationship with our Funeral Directors, ministers and clergy and we will ensure that these changes are dealt with in the most respectful way.
“Like with many other services we are having to look at different ways to support delivery and so our bereavement team are offering webcasting so that those unable to attend can still witness the service and pay their respect. And of course, we will be open to arranging memorial services at a later date when health guidelines allow.”
For full details of changes to the bereavement service and to keep up to date with any changes to services and advice and support, visit www.tameside.gov.uk/coronavirus or follow Tameside Council on Twitter and Facebook.
Keep up to date with all the latest local and national developments here: https://www.questmedianetwork.co.uk/news/daily-coronavirus-updates/.