rafford Council has increased the number of mourners at funeral services from 10 to 20 as coronavirus restrictions continue to be eased.

The Bereavement Services team in Trafford reviewed its position on funerals following the Government’s new guidance on gatherings.

Each facility within Greater Manchester has been reviewed and seating plans have been designed for each chapel to ensure that two metre social distancing can be maintained. This has allowed the number of mourners attending funerals to be increased within chapels.

At Altrincham Crematorium Chapel, attendance will be restricted to a maximum of 20 attendees.

Alongside the funeral director, chapel attendant, and funeral staff only the following should attend:

Members of the person’s household

Close family members

If the above are unable to attend, close friends

Attendance of a celebrant of choice, should the bereaved request this

Services taking place at the graveside are permitted to have a maximum of 30 attendees and must maintain social distancing of two metres.

People self-isolating, vulnerable or showing symptoms of Covid-19 should not attend a funeral service and those invited to attend a service in the chapel should consider wearing face coverings as an additional precaution.

Cllr Stephen Adshead, Trafford Council’s Executive Leader for Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change said, said:

“We understand funerals are an emotional and difficult time for loved ones and the coronavirus has added to this. It is right that loved ones and friends want to say goodbye at times of grief. However, it is important to continue following the guidelines set by the Government to help prevent a second wave of the virus.”

In line with the guidelines the Bereavement Service will use the lead applicants contact details for the purpose of track and trace. These details will be held for 21 days.

Should monitoring of local infection rates indicate a significant increase, this will lead to a review of local public health measures within GM. This could result in a reduction to the number of mourners allowed at services across Greater Manchester.

Please note, if more than 30 mourners attend a burial or cremation, it is our legal duty to report it to the authorities as this is now classed as an illegal gathering.