In order to protect the integrity of the cremation service for Northern Ireland over the coming weeks and months, to protect the staff who have to undertake this challenging job, and also to protect grieving families and friends from the growing transmission of Covid-19, Belfast City Council has regrettably taken a decision to close the chapel at Roselawn Crematorium and associated facilities to mourners from Monday 23 March until further notice.
Cremations will be carried out but unfortunately no family can be in attendance.
A Council spokesperson said “We are working with funeral directors, undertakers and faith groups to ensure that bereaved families are aware of these new measures and are given support at this incredibly difficult time. We understand that families may wish to make alternative arrangements to hold a service or ceremony elsewhere.
Council wishes to express its deep sympathy to all families who face the passing of a loved in these very difficult circumstances.
Burials are still taking place; however, we are asking mourners at the graveside and funeral directors to consider public health advice around social distancing.
The registration of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships will continue at City Hall where our trained and dedicated staff help to support families in these increasingly challenging times. New arrangements are likely to be put in place in the coming weeks, as directed by government.
The City of Belfast Crematorium is a regional service and provides cremation services for Northern Ireland as well as being accessible to people from the Republic of Ireland. It is the only facility available in Northern Ireland and it is essential that we maintain the ability to operate this facility effectively in the coming months.”