Leeds City Council has announced all crematoria chapels, including all burial chapels for funeral services managed by the council will reopen from Monday 8 June.
This decision follows a review of the number of cremations taking place in the city, which while still remaining high, have reduced to a level which can ensure that steps can now be put in place to protect the health and wellbeing of mourners, council staff and partners, whilst services are taking place in chapels.
As per pre coronavirus, service times will continue to be a maximum of 40 minutes.
To ensure that appropriate cleaning can take place between each funeral service, the number of chapel funeral services taking place throughout the day will however be reduced from 11 to nine.
This reduction will also ensure that the council is able to offer direct cremations along the same lines pre-Covid-19.
In relation to funerals, Public Health England (PHE) published their revised guidance on 18 May to ensure funerals are conducted safely.
In line with this guidance, the council has taken the decision to restrict the maximum number of mourners to 10 that are allowed inside the chapel areas. To protect the health and wellbeing of all individuals in the chapel, the council said that social distancing must be maintained at all times.
Toilets and hand washing facilities will be available at each of the crematoria, along with hand sanitiser for mourners to use upon entering and exiting the chapel areas.
To ensure a “thorough clean” between each funeral service can be achieved and that mourners do not overlap with the next funeral service coming in, the council said it will be working with funeral directors to keep services in the chapel to the specified length of time.