A MAXIMUM of 25 mourners will be able to attend cremation and burial services due to new rules announced to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Following advice from the Government, Colchester Council's bereavement services team is implementing a raft of changes to the way it operates over the coming weeks and potentially months.

Funerals, both cremation services and burials, are still going ahead, however, funeral directors are being asked to ensure only close family attend - up to a maximum of 25 people.

In addition mourners are being asked to observe 2 metre social distancing guidelines inside the chapel or at gravesides.

Funeral directors are contacting customers over the coming days to advice them of the new rules and help support them through any changes.

A spokesman for Colchester Council said: "We understand this is very difficult for people during such a sad time but we hope everyone understands our decision is to ensure the safety of both mourners and our staff."

Funeral Directors will be able to help bereaved families to access the Obitus system webcast and funeral recording facilities, which operate in the crematorium chapel.

The Book of Remembrance room and the Prayer Room are also closed until further notice.

For more information, search bereavement services at colchester.gov.uk.