THE number of mourners at burials in Bridgwater is to be limited to 10, it has been announced.

In Taunton, a maximum of 20 people may attend funeral services at Taunton Deane Crematorium and guests are asked to sit two metres apart.

There are recording systems in place which means ceremonies may be live streamed to those who are unable to attend.

The limits are a result of new guidance over the coronavirus crisis and will apply to all burials at Quantock Road and St John's Cemetery, in Bristol Road, Bridgwater.

A statement by Bridgwater Town Council, which took the decision, said the sites would also be closed to the public 'for the foreseeable future'.

"As you are all aware, the UK is currently experiencing a crisis that we have never experienced before," it read. "The government, have implemented lockdown measures for the entire UK.

"Bridgwater Town Council has made the very difficult decision to introduce restrictions to the number of people attending burials at Quantock Road and St John’s Cemetery at Bristol Road.

"We are also closing the chapel at Quantock Road and both cemeteries to the public for the foreseeable future."

The measure would take effect from March 30, the council added.

"The attendance of immediate family and close friends at burial services will be restricted to 10 people, plus funeral director staff and officiant, and social distancing must be applied at all times," it added.

"We appreciate that this will be distressing for the bereaved so we will keep the restrictions under active review.

"When the situation improves, the bereaved affected by this restriction will have the opportunity to hold another service at the graveside should they wish.

"Funeral directors being advised of this action, should contact families to help make necessary arrangements.

"The bereaved should contact their funeral director for further advice."