Sheffield Council announces changes to funeral arrangements

Sheffield Council has become the latest council to announce changes to funeral arrangements as coronavirus lockdown is eased.

The council announced an increase in the number of mourners to 10 people as service times have reduced from 45 minutes to 30 minutes due to the increased waiting times.

The council also announced a £50 reduction in the cost of each funeral. In March, the council also revealed that funerals were restricted to five due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said the restrictions that were placed on our funeral services have been “one of the most difficult decisions” the council has  had to make.

She said throughout, they have prioritised the safety and wellbeing of its mourners, of staff and  funeral directors, as well as “fulfilling our duty to limit the spread of coronavirus”.

Lea said: “The government’s guidance on attending funerals has not changed, but the wider easing of some restrictions, means we now believe an easing of the numbers of funeral attendees should follow. We have reviewed our policy and are confident that we can now safely increase the number of mourners to ten.

“It remains clear that the more social contact there is, the greater the risk of transmission is, so we are asking that families still consider restricting numbers at funerals to as few as possible and we will continue to monitor the situation.”

The news comes as Kirklees 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. 

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