RESTRICTIONS on the number of mourners allowed at funerals in the district are set to be eased from June 8.

Changes will be made to the number of mourners allowed to enter crematoria buildings, and a new limit on the total number of mourners allowed to attend cremations and burials from 10 to 20.

Bradford Council originally imposed the prohibitions to prevent the spread of coronavirus between mourners, funeral directors and crematoria staff.

During the height of the outbreak, there were almost double the usual number of cremations taking place in Bradford district's three crematoria: Nab Wood, Scholemoor and Oakworth.

The council said this made it impossible to ensure the safety of everyone if mourners were allowed inside the buildings.

Bradford Council – along with fellow local authorities in West Yorkshire – took the decision to limit mourners attending funerals to a total of 10 and to prevent them from entering the chapel.

The latest data shows that the number of funerals is falling and that it will be possible to allow up to 10 mourners to enter the crematoria buildings at funerals booked to take place after June 8 for a short service/ceremony.

Another 10 mourners will be able to attend the funeral but for the time being they must remain outside the building.

All mourners, both outside and inside, will have to follow social distancing rules, with markers and barriers in place to help people.

There will also be other safety procedures such as hand sanitisers available inside the buildings, and plastic chairs which can be cleaned easily between services.

Services will not be allowed if more than 10 people enter the building.

Waiting rooms will remain closed to the public but toilets will be available at the crematoria.

There will also be a change from the same date for burials.

For funerals taking place from June 8, up to a total of 20 mourners can attend a graveside funeral service as long as social distancing measures are strictly observed throughout the open-air ceremony.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s executive member for healthy people and places, said: “Preventing people entering the chapel was one of the hardest decisions we have had to make to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives.

“We are well aware of how much distress was caused but we had no choice. Now the situation has changed and the number of funerals has reduced, we are relieved to be able to ease some of the restrictions for those saying goodbye to loved ones.”