Coronavirus: West Ham Cemetery to be closed to the general public

The gates to West Ham Cemetery will be closed to the public from 5pm on Thursday, April 6 after visi

The gates to West Ham Cemetery will be closed to the public from 5pm on Thursday, April 6 after visitors ignored social distancing guidelines. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

Public access to West Ham Cemetery will be restricted from today (April 16), with people only allowed to enter for funerals.

The council says it was left with no choice because some people have been ignoring the government’s social distancing guidelines at the cemetery, including groups having picnics.

Gates to the site in Cemetery Road, Forest Gate, will close to the general public from 5pm.

The move was agreed on public health grounds as part of the council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and is intended to protect cemetery visitors and workers.

Councillor James Beckles, cabinet member for crime and anti-social behaviour, said: “It is with much regret that we are having to do this.

“Groups of people have been entering the grounds for reasons other than funerals, including most recently for picnics.

“Along with many other local authorities and private cemeteries, we are having to provide additional capacity for funerals.

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“While recognising the disappointment and distress this restricted access may cause people who routinely visit and tend the resting place of lost loved ones, it is necessary if we are to minimise the impact of coronavirus in our community.”

The restriction will remain in place indefinitely but will be routinely reviewed in line with government guidance.

Funeral corteges can still enter as normal.

The council respectfully requests that no more than 10 people attend funerals.

Attendance should be limited to members of the deceased’s household, close family members, or a small number of friends if neither household or family members are there.

Those who do attend are asked to observe social distancing guidelines and stay at least two metres from each other.

No one who has coronavirus symptoms or should be self-isolating should attend.