Mourners Hide in Cemetery to Break Covid-19 Rules

Under the current coronavirus restrictions, only a total number of thirty mourners can attend both indoor and outdoor funerals. However, in another bizarre funeral regulations violation case from Birmingham, mourners broke into a cemetery to get around the restrictions. According to local news reports, a group exceeding thirty broke into a cemetery prior to the time the service was scheduled to take place. However, after being discovered, they were swiftly asked to leave. In an effort to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Birmingham city council has closed access to all cemeteries, except for specific times when services can take place and when people can visit graves.

In remarks made to a local news source, one account described the incidence of such rule flouting as rising. “People have been going into the cemetery to hide before the funeral. One cemetery the week before last… it was 15 [people hiding] so that’s 50% more [than the number allowed]. Council staff had to escort them out,” the source said. There’s no doubt if you look at the places where people can catch Covid, one is at a funeral. The risk is heightened if that person happens to be a vulnerable person. ‘You can see the extra risk there yet actually the rules in place for funerals are probably more relaxed than in many other spheres of life,’ the source continued.

Paul Lankester, assistant director of regulation and enforcement at Birmingham City Council, spoke of the problem at a recent virtual meeting. “I’m aware of all sorts of things that can go on social media, details of what’s happening – we’ve had that in the last week. We actually quite successfully controlled a funeral that had potentially a couple of hundred people there. People were just breaking in, but what we did was we stopped them, we escorted them and the funeral stopped. And I think that’s very disrespectful to both the deceased and the bereaved,” the council boss added.”

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