A CHANGE in government legislation means Barrow Cemetery is to be re-opened to the public.
The location, in Devonshire Road, was closed on April 1 to meet The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations 2020, which were adopted into law.
New guidance has now been issued by the Ministry of Justice which removes the need for cemeteries with an attached crematorium to remain closed.
It means while the crematorium remains closed to members of the public, except for funerals or burials, the cemetery grounds can reopen. Government guidance considers visiting a cemetery or burial ground to be a reasonable excuse for people to leave their home in order to pay respects to a loved one.
Barrow Borough Council deputy leader, Councillor Lee Roberts, said: “We received clarity from the government earlier this month that cemeteries with a crematorium attached must be closed to the public.
“The government has now clarified its position on this which allows all cemeteries to open. “We know being able to visit the resting place of a loved one is something that can bring comfort to many people.
“But we would urge anyone who visits the cemetery to be considerate to those who are paying respects to a loved one by maintaining rules on social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus in our community.”
Barrow Borough Council also runs Dalton Cemetery in Newton Road, Dalton, and Ireleth Cemetery in Broughton Road, Ireleth.
Residents living nearby have been able to visit these two locations in past weeks as neither has a crematorium on site.
Barrow Cemetery will be re-open from Thursday, April 23.
Visitors to the cemetery are asked to respect staff, mourners and to use it only in accordance with its purpose.
Cllr Roberts added: “We’re pleased we have received this clarification to the government legislation which allows the cemetery in Barrow to open its gates again.
“We would like to thank residents for their continued commitment to observing the lockdown and rules on social distancing which is undoubtedly helping to save lives and ensure some of the most vulnerable people throughout our community are protected from this deadly disease.”