Bridgend County Borough Council has confirmed that restrictions on accessing cemeteries are set to be lifted this week.
Following updated advice from Welsh Government and in discussion with other local authorities and funeral directors, the entrances to council-maintained cemeteries, including the grounds of Coychurch Crematorium, will be unlocked so that access can be reinstated on Tuesday 28 April 2020.
The restrictions were introduced several weeks ago to maintain social distancing and limit potential exposure to the Coivid-19 coronavirus.
Attendance at graveside funerals will continue to be strictly limited to a maximum of 10 close family members, and people visiting graves are being reminded of the importance of maintaining social distancing at all times. Signage will also be put in place to advise visitors how they can keep themselves safe.
Cllr Richard Young, Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
“Council cemeteries vary in size and layout, so the restrictions had to be introduced in order to maintain social distancing and limit potential exposure to the Coivid-19 coronavirus.
“That decision was in line with national advice at that time and was not one we took lightly as we fully appreciate that visiting the graves of friends and family members can provide people with solace and comfort.
“I’m pleased that access to cemeteries is being reinstated, but I cannot emphasise strongly enough how important it will be to maintain social distancing, and to keep yourselves safe from potential exposure to the coronavirus.
“We previously had reports of people using cemeteries as a short-cut or even as part of their route when exercising a dog, so it must be clearly understood that this move is intended to support people who are grieving or paying their respects.”
“The council will continue to monitor and review the situation in case further changes prove to be necessary in order to preserve public safety, but I would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding in the meantime.”