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Safely Running Public-facing Services Under Lifted Restrictions

Press Release: 15/07/2021


POSITIVE changes are to be made to public facing council services such as the crematorium and libraries so that people can use them as normally and as safety as possible when national covid restrictions are lifted from 19 July.

However visitors to these public buildings and venues, as well as staff, will be asked to continue with safety measures such as washing hands, wearing face coverings and socially distancing where possible to protect themselves and eachother while also helping to minimise disruption and keep the services running.

The changes and continued safety measures apply to all Tameside Council public facing services including bereavements services, weddings and civil partnerships ceremonies, markets, libraries, local studies and archives, museums and galleries and cultural events and activities.

Tameside Council Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington: “We’re all looking forward to moving onto a more normal way of life as national restrictions are lifted but coronavirus has not gone away and, as rates continue to increase with more people having to isolate, it is putting services in Tameside and across Greater Manchester under a huge amount of strain with potential for significant disruption. So while we want to do everything possible to reopen all our services as widely and normally as possible, we are asking customers, visitors and staff to do their bit to minimise risk by continuing with safety measures such as washing hands and wearing face coverings, which we know really helps to reduce transmission.

“I’m sure the positive changes and wider reopening of our services, such as there now being no number limits on people attending funerals at the crematorium, will be widely welcomed by everyone. We only ask that in return people respect our staff and eachother by continuing to be cautious and responsible about covid safety.”

See below for more information on changes and the wider reopening of each service:

Bereavement Services

  • There will be no limit as to the number of mourners permitted to attend a burial/cremation service or scattering/burial of cremated remains within Tameside
  • Families will now be permitted to sit with each other within the chapel with no social distancing required
  • Services will be relayed on speakers outside the Crematorium to allow people outside to hear the service taking place
  • Singing or the playing of musical instruments as part of a funeral service will now be permitted
  • Hymn Books and Service Books will be reinstated in the chapels
  • The Book of Remembrance Lodge will reopen from 19 July at weekends and Bank Holidays as well as during the working week
  • Curtains can remain open during the committal if that is what families request



  • Visitors will still need to pre-book a visit to Portland Basin Museum, but the capacity of visitors that can be accommodated at one time will be increased.
  • Visits to the museum will no longer be limited to around 1 hour.
  • The one way system at the museum will no longer be in place.
  • Restrictions on visitor numbers will be removed at Astley Cheetham Art Gallery.
  • Opening hours will remain Wednesday to Sunday 10am-3pm at Portland Basin Museum and Wednesday 1pm-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm at Astley Cheetham Art Gallery, to be reviewed in September.
  • Events and activities in the Museum and Gallery will start to be re-introduced.

Libraries and Local Studies and Archives

  • More public PCs will be brought back into use, but where possible we will accommodate some socially distanced work stations
  • The need to pre-book private study space will be removed
  • Soft furniture to be reinstated into each venue
  • Events and activities will start to be re-introduced to venues, likewise the use of meeting rooms
  • There will be no need to book an appointment to attend Local Studies and Archives
  • One way systems in libraries will be removed
  • Capacity limits on numbers of people allowed in building at once will be removed
  • The wider eligibility criteria for Home Library Service introduced during covid restrictions will be retained
  • Physical copies newspapers and magazines will be re-instated
  • Open+ operating hours at libraries will be re-instated relying on customers to sanitise PCs before/after use


Arts and Engagement

  • Re-introduction of activities and events
  • Theatre in the Park is scheduled for summer and has been ticketed to this point.  If more wish to attend they could now be accommodated.
  • Remembrance Services and Parades can take place as usual if the current easing of restrictions remain in place.
  • Town Christmas events can take place as usual
  • Tameside Lantern Parade can go ahead if the current restrictions stay in place.

Weddings and Civil Partnership Ceremonies

  • Covid control measures will still be in place within our buildings.  In order to keep everyone safe we are continuing with infection control measures on face coverings, washing hands and room ventilation.  Therefore we will be ensuring no over crowed spaces by complying with capacity limits on rooms.  Please check with the Registration Office on what these number limits are for your ceremony.  We look forward to welcoming you back to our premises for your special day.
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