Covid limits on weddings and funerals at South Tyneside Council venues to remain after Freedom Day in bid to curb rising cases

Covid restrictions for weddings and funerals at South Tyneside Council venues will remain in place after Freedom Day on July 19 in a bid to curb the borough’s rising virus cases.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 1:37 pm
Limits on the numbers attending weddings at South Shields Town Hall will remain in place after Freedom Day.
Limits on the numbers attending weddings at South Shields Town Hall will remain in place after Freedom Day.

The council has confirmed that current Covid measures will continue across all its services until August 16 at the earliest, in order to protect staff and residents as coronavirus cases soar in the borough.

It comes after latest figures show that South Tyneside has the highest number of cases in the country and the highest number of cases in the borough at any point in the pandemic to date.

Tom Hall, Director of Public Health said: “We have a duty of care to both staff and service users to take a precautionary approach.

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The limit on those attending funerals at South Shields Crematorium will remain in place even after Freedom Day.

"Many people rely on the delivery of council services and we need to try and minimise the number of staff who may become unwell or need to isolate which could have a devastating effect on service delivery.

“Council and South Tyneside Homes employees will maintain Covid secure practices and will continue to observe any workplace mitigations that have been put in place, such as social distancing and wearing face coverings.

“Over the coming weeks we will continue to assess the situation and will advise the public of any changes, but at this moment in time residents and service users will see no change with how they engage with council services from July 19.”

It means that while many people across the country will be looking forward to the ending of all restrictions on Monday, those planning to hold weddings or funerals inside South Tyneside Council venues, such as South Shields Town Hall or South Shields Crematorium, will still be subject to the current limits on numbers attending.

While the number of people who will be able to attend a wedding or civil partnership will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate, based on a Covid-19 risk assessment of the venue.

Visitors are encouraged to continue to use test and trace in all council buildings and to wear face coverings, unless exempt.

A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman said everyone in the borough is reminded to do their bit to curb the rise in cases by continuing to observe basic hand hygiene at all times, avoiding crowded indoor places and getting vaccinated.

Council and South Tyneside Homes employees will also continue to operate in a Covid-secure way including using face coverings and social distancing.

South Tyneside Council said it has a duty to ensure it meets its statutory obligations and to ensure that democracy continues.

The next council meeting, on July 22 will again be held at Temple Park rather than in the council chamber to ensure that there is sufficient ventilation and that the public can attend safely if they wish.

The council website will continue to be updated with advice and guidance.

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