THE number of people allowed to attend funeral services has increased as lockdown eases.

From today, funerals at Landican and Frankby can accommodate a maximum of 30 people, in line with government guidance, to help families grieve together for their lost loved ones.

Up to 30 will be permitted to attend funerals, burials and graveside and cremations / burials within the chapels.

Although the number has increased, government guidance still limits those who should attend a funeral to immediate and close family members only.

Previous restrictions, introduced on March 27, meant only 15 mourners could attend a loved ones service.

Cllr Julie McManus, cabinet member for community services, said: "Losing a loved one, is one of the worst things that we will experience and the past few months have made this already difficult situation, even harder for many.

"Having recently lost a close family member, I truly empathise and would like to pass my sincere sympathies to any families who have recently lost a loved one, particularly at this time when we cannot grieve as perhaps, we normally would.

"Increasing the maximum number of mourners who can attend a service, will allow additional family members and relatives to pay their respects and say goodbye."

Larger funeral parties cannot be accommodated on site, the option to live stream a service is available at no extra cost.

The council's advice is that families should speak to their personal funeral director to set up these arrangements.

Cremations service times can be 20 minutes, or 40 minutes long if families would like additional time to say goodbye.

A council spokesperson added: "Social distancing measures remain in place at cemeteries and crematoriums in order to protect the safety of those attending a service and staff.

"Longer-term pew segregation has been implemented to ensure that social distancing can be maintained within the chapels and cleaning of areas within the chapel will take place between each service.

"The increase to the number of people able to attend a service will be monitored in line with the local R factors and government advice over the next four weeks.

"The chapel at Frankby, being smaller than the chapels within Landican, is able to hold up to a maximum of 30 mourners, however, residents should be aware that the number of people able to enter the chapel will depend on the number of individual households and social bubbles that are attending."