Earlier this year, it was announced that mourners would be limited at funerals in Wales in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Now, as restrictions are starting to ease slightly, some areas are allowing more people to attend funerals.
While many restrictions remain in place, some authorities have confirmed more people will now be able to attend funerals.
From Monday, June 8, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council announced it would increase mourner numbers at funeral services to 15 at Glyntaf and Llwydcoed Crematoria and Rhondda Cynon Taf cemeteries in order to continue to keep families safe at this difficult time.
Previously only nine people were permitted to attend but, even though slightly more people are now able to be present, social distancing guidelines must still be followed and enforced.
In the five Gwent local authorities (Newport, Torfaen, Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly), changes were made at the end of May.
Before May 26, only five people were allowed to attend funerals in the Gwent areas. Now 10 people are permitted to attend the ceremonies.
A statement read: “Partners of the Gwent Local Resilience Forum agreed to increase the number of mourners permitted to attend funerals, memorial services and gatherings at Gwent Crematorium and cemeteries within the five local authority areas of Gwent, to 10.
“This will come into effect on Tuesday 26 May.
“Due to the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak and in line with government restrictions, it is still necessary to limit the number of people in any public space and ensure necessary social distancing.
“However, all councils fully recognise and understand how difficult these restrictions can be for the family and friends of the deceased.
“The level of demand and related risk at these sites has been under constant review and restrictions have been eased as soon as it has been deemed safe and appropriate to do so for both the public and staff.
“The decision follows a review of risk assessments and took into account a number of factors, including the ability to safely maintain and enforce the two-metre social distancing requirements, and the impact an increase in attendance would have on the continued health, safety and welfare of all those attending, managing and officiating the funeral.
“The original decision to limit the numbers of mourners was one that was not taken lightly.
“Respect for the deceased and compassion for the bereaved is an important part of our decision making, but protecting the health and wellbeing of the public, funeral and cemetery staff has to be the foremost concern during this ongoing public health emergency.
“Partners of the Gwent Resilience Forum will keep this matter under continual review while the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the Gwent area.”
Restrictions have altered slightly in some parts of Wales
In Bridgend, a maximum of 10 close family members have been permitted to attend services since the outbreak began.
Bridgend County Borough Council said there are no current plans for this to change, but it is under constant review and will be re-visited based on national guidelines.
Pembrokeshire County Council shared a similar response.
When asked about funerals, a spokesperson said: “On Friday 20 March 2020 Pembrokeshire County Council took the decision to restrict the number of mourners to 12 at Parc Gwyn Crematorium and at the grave-sides of council-owned cemeteries.
“The restrictions were put in place following a meeting with funeral directors and collectively agreed that the changes represented a balance between minimising the risk to the public and maximising the safety of staff.
“These rules currently remain in place but are subject to regular review.
“Any changes to the current restrictions will be communicated in due course.”
In Carmarthenshire, the council said the guidance to people attending funerals has been issued in accordance with Welsh Government advice.
At the moment the only people who should attend include members of the person’s household and close family members.
If the deceased has neither household or family members in attendance then it’s possible for a “modest number of friends to attend”.
WalesOnline has tried to contact all local authorities about changes to any restrictions, and the article will be updated when further information is confirmed.