ONLY 12 mourners will now be allowed at Halton's cemeteries and crematorium.

Following discussions with Public Health, funeral directors and neighbouring councils, from Tuesday, only 12 people will be allowed to attend funeral services within Widnes Crematorium Chapel.

For burial services at all cemeteries in Halton, only six mourners will be permitted at the graveside.

Halton Borough Council have taken the decision to restrict the numbers of mourners attending funeral services at the borough’s cemeteries and Widnes Crematorium to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

There is currently no restriction in relation to entering Halton’s cemeteries but the council is stressing the need for people to maintain distance between one another.

Cllr Stef Nelson, the council’s portfolio holder for environmental services, said: “This is a very hard decision to have to make, but the safety of the public, our staff and funeral directors is paramount.

“We understand that this will be upsetting to families at what is already a very distressing time, but it is essential that we protect people in these unprecedented circumstances.”

Webcasting of funerals will be available at Widnes Crematorium free. This will allow people to be part of a funeral service but from their own homes.