Derry City and Strabane District Council has confirmed that its cemetery opening hours will be returning to normal times from this weekend.
The announcement comes following the temporary morning closures at Council cemeteries for several months during the COVID19 pandemic.
Council is now in a position to reopen its Cemeteries to the public from 8am – 7pm from Saturday, 19th September.
Members of the public are reminded however that they must continue to observe social distancing measures with other members of the public and Cemetery operational staff.
The Cemetery offices will remain closed with no public access and all enquiries or queries relating to genealogy or headstone permits can be made by telephone, email or appointment only.
The public are asked to note that when funerals are taking place, some areas within the cemeteries will be cordoned off to ensure health and safety measures are in place and to allow mourners the space and and privacy to grieve and pay their respects in a safe and controlled environment.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Brian Tierney welcoming the resumption of normal opening times said: “Council is encouraging all users of its Cemeteries to co-operate fully with staff and follow the signage. The public are advised that as a result of the current pandemic these arrangements are subject to change and there will be instances where the facilities may have to close at short notice to comply with COVID 19 regulations.”
Mayor Tierney acknowledged the patience and understanding of the public over the past number of months, saying that while the morning cemetery closures had caused some inconvenience for many families locally, it was essential to ensure the safety of staff and users.
“The Council appreciates the effort that has been made by everyone using our cemeteries in adhering to the guidance and co-operating with us during this difficult time. We are pleased to be in a position to reopen again to our normal hours and hope that with the public’s continued support, we can maintain this important service going forward.
“We would like to remind the public that COVID-19 continues to be a threat to all of us and its important we all play our part in preventing the spread of the virus in our community. Please adhere to social distancing and follow the Department of Health guidelines when visiting our Cemeteries.”