Cemeteries run by St Albans City and District Council are to reopen to visitors following a change of heart by the Government.
The cemeteries were closed earlier this month on the instructions of Government as it imposed a lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Burials and graveside services were allowed with a maximum of five mourners.
Now the Council along with other cemetery owners, has been told it can reopen the cemeteries, although the restriction on mourner numbers will remain.
The Government decision came at the weekend in response to pleas from the public to allow to visit the graves of loved ones.
The Council owns three cemeteries: Hatfield Road and London Road, in St Albans, and Westfield Road, in Harpenden.
Hatfield Road has reopened and the two others will do so by the end of this week.
All visitors and mourners are asked to respect social distancing rules for the safety of themselves and others.
Councillor Anthony Rowlands, Portfolio Holder for Community, Leisure and Sport, said:
It was with considerable reluctance that I agreed to the closure of our cemeteries as I knew how upset many people would be at not being able to visit family graves.
I had no choice, however, as emergency legislation brought in to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 forced the closure.
It was clear this decision was causing much distress to people around the country and I think it only right that the Government has had a rethink and changed its mind.
We are reopening the cemeteries as quickly as we can as there are some staffing and safety issues that we need to resolve first.
“t will be for individuals to decide whether to make a visit to a grave. All I would ask is that people obey the social distancing rules whether they are visiting a memorial or grave or attending a burial service. I have every confidence that the public will do so.
Councillor Anthony Rowlands,
Portfolio Holder for Community,
Leisure and Sport
Tel: 07761 232064
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