Mourners will be able to attend services inside crematorium chapels in Kirklees from 1 June, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The council announced the easing of some restrictions but whilst numbers will still be limited to 10 mourners, social distancing will be put in place to allow services to take place indoors at the crematoria.
The council said to help facilitate this change it has increased booking times from 20 minutes to 30 minutes to enable a clean between services, and chapels will be laid out so that those attending can stay safely apart.
Hand sanitizers are being installed for use before and after entering the chapel and will encourage the attendants to keep 2 meters apart as they travel through the space. The council also said: “If you are unable to attend the funeral service you will still be able to watch for free through our webcasting service.”
Councillor Rob Walker, cabinet member for Environment said:”I am sure you will appreciate that any unprecedented event requires decisions to be made with the best evidence available at the time, and it is testament to the sacrifices we have all made over the last two months that we are beginning to see a decline in the number of people infected by and in the worst cases dying from this terrible disease.
“I know that the sacrifice made by families who’ve lost a loved one during the last few weeks has been particularly heart-breaking, and not being able to hold a normal service can only have made a difficult time even harder.”
He added: “We are still a long way from normal, but I do hope that opening the chapels to 10 people will at least provide some additional comfort to immediate family members and close friends at their time of need. We will continue to review the position.
“As we mentioned before we will be working with councillors, partners, funeral directors, faith networks and the bereaved to develop a day of remembrance. This will mean that when we are once again able to gather in groups we can come together to pay our respects to family members who have passed away.”