REDDITCH Council has said it has spaced out pews and has reduced the cost of livestreaming funerals in an attempt to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The new measures, announced yesterday, come after this paper reported council bosses had been asking people if they really needed to visit a memorial or indeed attend a funeral.

The Bereavement Services Team has spaced out the pews and has reduced the cost of livestreaming ceremonies to £40 so "it’s more accessible" as they recognise Government recommendations on social distancing and social gatherings.

Hymn books have been removed and mourners will be expected to remain in their cars prior to the funeral arriving and will be asked to remove tissues and service sheets after to minimise the risk to our staff.

Bereavement services manager mike Birkenshaw said: “While this is an emotive subject we also hope it reassures vulnerable friends and relatives that they do not put themselves at risk to attend funeral services and ceremonies.

“We are also enabling the immediate relations to attend safely, adhering to the Government guidelines.”