Preston City Council have issued a reminder for Covid funeral guidance to funeral directors and the Preston Muslim Burial Society.Advertisement
The current restrictions means that up to 30 people can attend a funeral whether it is inside or outside.
Councillor Peter Moss, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulation at Preston City Council, said: “The pandemic has caused great loss and sadness for many and my thoughts are with the families and communities that have suffered such loss but cannot grieve as they usually would due to restrictions on funerals and related services.
“These restrictions are in place to protect our communities and prevent further spread of the virus that continues to pose a very serious risk to the lives of people as well as the capacity of the NHS.
“While I do appreciate that these restrictions are unwelcome, the Council ensures that anyone arranging a burial at our cemetery is made fully aware of the current restrictions in place and the maximum number of attendees allowed.”
Some places may not be able to accommodate 30 people attending a funeral and numbers may be lower.
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Cllr Moss added: “We’re also continuing to work closely with community and faith leaders to remind everyone about the rules relating to funerals and other gatherings. It is the personal responsibility of everyone to abide by these rules and keep each other safe.
“I understand the frustration about gatherings that exceed the maximum number of attendees. Where appropriate we are providing information to the police who are responsible for enforcement.”
The re-issuing of guidance comes after a report of over 200 people attending a burial taking place at Preston Cemetery in Ribbleton on Friday 8 January.
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Darren Weyer made a complaint to Preston City Council, seen by Blog Preston, where he said he had seen approximately 150 vehicles parked at the cemetery and a police car that had two officers in whilst visiting his son’s grave.
Lancashire Police have confirmed that they are aware of the funeral event and had officers there but no enforcement action was taken on the day.
A spokesperson for the Preston Muslim Burial Society said: “We can confirm that we were involved in two burials on 8 January. All of our burials are being delivered in line with current government guidance with everyone adhering to the legal limit on mourners.
“With there being a recent spike in positive Covid cases, we are now seeing several funerals taking place in a single day, often back-to-back. This along with cemeteries open to people visiting the graves of their loved ones, especially on Fridays, perhaps gives the impression to onlookers that the government limit is not being followed.
“We would like to reassure you that this is not the case. We will continue to work extremely hard with the community in adhering to the limit to keep people at the cemetery as safe as possible.”
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