THE number of mourners allowed at funerals at South Essex Crematorium will increase from Monday 8 June.
There will be up to 25 mourners allowed in the South Chapel, up to 15 in the East Chapel, 15 at Upminster Cemetery and 25 at graveside at any of the borough’s cemeteries.
The cemeteries at Rainham, Romford and Hornchurch are also open, but the chapels in the Rainham and Romford cemeteries remain closed for renovation and due to social distancing measures.
Government guidelines remain unchanged; only members of the deceased’s household, close family members, or (if there are no family members) close friends are permitted to attend funerals.
Social distancing guidelines around Covid-19 will remain in place on all sites and residents are reminded to follow these rules when visiting the crematorium and cemeteries.
There will be limited car parking facilities at the crematorium in Ockendon Road, Corbets Tey, Upminster for mourners only, and staff may direct additional mourners and visitors to the Gardens of Remembrance to use Upminster Cemetery.
The temporary mortuary at the crematorium is also being scaled back, but a smaller structure will remain in place on standby should there be a need to expand again if demand increases.
The changes also mean there will be an increase in car parking facilities later in the month.
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said: “We know that the changes to the number of mourners able to attend the funerals of loved ones and friends will bring much comfort.
“We are still in the middle of a difficult time with the Coivid-19 pandemic but as we continue to move forward slowly again, there are opportunities to start getting many of our services running as near to normal as possible.”