Number of mourners allowed at funerals in Birmingham increases to 16

Published: Friday, 29th May 2020

Following new guidance from the Government, Birmingham City Council has increased the number of mourners allowed to attend funerals from six to 16.

>During the Covid crisis, Birmingham City Council has closely followed government and public health guidance around social distancing measures. With new guidance issued on 28 May that allows for more social interaction between different households, Birmingham City Council has been able to review its policies including its approach to bereavement services and the number of people allowed at funerals.

Cllr Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods said, “we fully understand the stress and anxiety caused by minimising the number of people allowed to attend the funeral of a loved one. Therefore, I am pleased to say that after fully reviewing our processes, we can now safely increase that number to 16. This is a first step in getting us back on track and allowing families to grieve in a way that they would wish.”

The council has also seen a steady reduction in the number of funerals taking place across the city. This means, with fewer graves being needed to be dug in advance, more people are able to stand around a graveside while maintaining a 2m social distance. This has been key factor in allowing the change to take effect and which will be introduced from Monday 1 June.

Cllr Thompson continued, “While we have increased the number of mourners, we are continuing to constantly review the situation. Should we see local restrictions introduced by Government, this may need to again change to reflect the measures needed to keep our residents safe.”

In addition, the opening hours of cemeteries and crematoria will also be reviewed with a decision expected next week.

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