Grieving families will be barred from their loved-ones’s funerals if mourners do not stop gathering outside crematoriums, Fife Council has warned.
Funerals are currently restricted to close family members only to stop the spread of covid-19, with no more than six people permitted to attend.
However, large groups of people are continuing to congregate in the grounds of Fife’s two crematoriums in Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline, as a way of showing respect to the deceased.
The council said that while understandable, this is not allowed.
“We appreciate that bereavement is a very difficult time for families and friends but we must do everything we can to minimise the spread of covid-19 and keep people safe,” said a spokesperson.
“Recently, large numbers of mourners have been gathering in the crematorium grounds.
“Although this is understandable, we need to remind everyone that the crematorium is open to the immediate family attending the service only.
“Unfortunately, if these rules are not followed, we’ll move to closed services.”
Immediate family is defined as the partner or spouse of the deceased, children and their partners, parents or carers, and brothers and sisters.
The local authority said one solution to the problem would be to stream funeral services on the internet to allow other family members and friends to watch online.
“We are arranging for this to be installed in both of our crematorium chapels,” the spokesperson said.
“This is a temporary system to meet the needs of the current situation and will be available shortly, with a permanent solution fully installed later.
“The message is protection of yourself, your loved ones, your community and our national health service.
“We also ask that you help protect our staff, funeral directors, officiants and organists.”
The Scottish Government is continuing its social distancing measures and said guidelines must always be followed to keep people safe.
The council spokesperson added: “The critical thing we must do is top the disease spreading between households – we should not be meeting family members who do not live with us.”
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