Coronavirus: Crematorium changes mourner plans

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image copyrightGeograph/Humphrey Bolton
image captionServices at Huddersfield and Dewsbury crematoriums are reduced to 20 minutes during the pandemic

A crematorium has changed its rules about mourners attending funerals during the coronavirus pandemic following criticism.

People had been banned from attending funeral services in Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

Huddersfield Crematorium, operated by Kirklees Council, said up to 10 mourners could now attend funerals at the two sites.

They will have to stay outside the chapel once the coffin has gone inside.

Families can also ask the vicar or celebrant to carry out a short ceremony in the chapel, streamed live via the chapel's webcast for them to watch from home.

The council said a Kirklees Day of Remembrance would be held for all those lost during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it was looking at ways for people to hold memorials once lockdown restrictions were lifted.

Kirklees Council leader Shabir Pandor said: "We've carefully reflected on this and have found a way of being able to [permit some mourners at funerals] whilst ensuring social distancing is in place."

Conservative councillor David Hall had described the decision to ban mourners as "cruelty layered on grief".

"I hope there will now be time and space for families to say goodbye to their loved ones prayerfully and with dignity," he said.

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