St Albans and Harpenden cemeteries shut during COVID-19 emergency
- Credit: Archant
Three cemeteries run by St Albans district council have been shut to visitors because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Burials and graveside services will still be allowed, but only five mourners will be permitted and must apply by social distancing rules, and services will be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes.
These closures follow government instructions in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020, that apply nationwide.
The affected cemeteries are Hatfield Road and London Road in St Albans and Westfield Road Cemetery in Harpenden, and the chapel in Hatfield Road and the cemeteries office are also closed.
Councillor Anthony Rowlands, portfolio holder for community, leisure and sport, said: “We had no choice but to close the cemeteries with immediate effect because of emergency legislation. The gates at all three facilities have been closed and notices put up asking people to stay away.
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“I can understand that this will not be easy, and some people will be upset that they cannot visit the graves of loved ones at this time. It is not a decision we wanted to take nor one we take lightly.
“We will re-open all cemeteries to the public as soon as it is safe and legal to do so. In the meantime, we hope people will understand the reasons for this necessary action.
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“The new government regulations are designed to protect our community by ensuring social distancing and limiting the spread of COVID-19.”
Cemetery staff can still be contacted to discuss arranging a funeral or other business through a MyStAlbans District Account or by calling 01727 819362.
Details of how to set one up are available on the counci’s website at www.stalbans.gov.uk.