Opening times for Birmingham cemeteries and crematoria are extended
Birmingham City Council has reviewed its opening times for visitors across all burial sites and crematoria grounds throughout the city.
Opening hours will be expanded with all grounds returning to their regular opening times over the weekend.
The current pandemic has meant that the council has had to respond quickly to new guidance and changes around bereavement with limited hours needing to be in place at cemeteries, crematoria, and surrounding grounds, to reflect the increase in funerals taking place and the need to maintain social distancing.
This arrangement has now been reviewed following the relaxing of social distancing and government guidance and extended opening times have now been agreed. This follows the recent increase by the council to the number of mourners allowed to attend funerals from six to 16.
All Birmingham cemeteries and crematoria grounds will be open to visitors From Monday 8 June 2020, weekday opening times will be expanded to 4pm-7pm with the exception of Handsworth and Sutton New Hall, which will be open 5.30-8.30pm. From Saturday 6 June 2020, 10am – 5pm on weekends, with the exception of Handsworth and Sutton New Hall, which will open 2pm – 8pm.
Those wishing to visit a cemetery or crematorium grounds should visit the Birmingham City Council directory for more information on opening times for each individual site.
Councillor Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods at Birmingham City Council said: “These changes have been kept under review and we are now in a position to extend the opening hours. The key consideration has had to be around social distancing, and therefore our cemeteries and crematoria will remain closed to visitors whilst funeral services take place.
“This also helps our staff to manage the restrictions on mourner numbers, which has recently been extended to 16 people, to ensure the safety of all involved, considering the other attenders (officiating person and undertaker staff) and the change in government guidance allowing vulnerable people to attend.”
“I hope that the extended times will provide more flexibility for people to visit their loved ones who have passed. All we ask is for people to be courteous and patient around gravesides, ensuring that two metre distance from each other is maintained – as they would in parks, shops and other public spaces.”
While changes have been made to opening hours and to the increase in the number of mourners, the situation will continue to be constantly reviewed. Should local restrictions be introduced by Government, this may again change to reflect the measures needed to keep residents safe.
Notes for Editors
Opening times for each individual site can be found at the Birmingham City Council directory: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/directory/1/cemeteries_and_crematoria
Additional information on the decision to increase the number of mourners attending funerals: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/news/article/625/number_of_mourners_allowed_at_funerals_in_birmingham_increases_to_16