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Coronavirus: Harrogate Council changes funeral services

Coronavirus: Harrogate Council changes funeral services

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Jacob Webster at 3:29pm 31st March 2020.

This is how Harrogate Borough Council is changing its bereavement services due to the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Harrogate Borough Council has revealed new guidance for funeral services.
  • It's after Government guidance that only family members should attend ceremonies.
  • Plans could include live-streaming services for those not in attendance.

Harrogate Borough Council is urging people not to attend any funerals at its burial and cremation sites, unless they are family members.

The local authority also said it has the facilities to live stream services for those who can not attend because of the coronavirus outbreak – but this may be affected due to high demand.

It said online:

“Funeral services are continuing as normal, but we ask that services are only attended by immediate family only.

“We appreciate that the time following a death is very difficult. If you are considering a burial there are important decisions about the cemetery and grave to be made and we aim to offer a flexible approach to help you make those decisions, taking into account as many of your wishes as possible.”

The council’s bereavement services team operate 11 open cemeteries and a crematorium at its Stonefall site. It is also responsible for 14 closed churchyards.

According to the council’s website, around 60 burials and cremations are set to take place in April.

And when asked if there is an option to hold funerals later in the year when government restrictions are relaxed, the council said: “We will follow the latest government advice regarding funerals.”

Under new laws, the government has stopped all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies – but this excludes funerals which can be attended by immediate family.

All places of worship have also been told to close, with the exception of opening their doors for family funerals.

Immediate family is defined as the partner or spouse of the deceased, children and their partners of the deceased, parents or carers of the deceased, and brothers and sisters of the deceased.

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