A DALTON man is relieved now he and his wife are able to visit a family grave again.

Craig Wakefield and his wife paid regular visits to Dalton cemetery until it was closed recently due to coronavirus restrictions.

But now Mr Wakefield has praised a local councillor after learning the cemetery - as well as the one at Ireleth - will be opened to the public once again.

Barrow Borough Council has now clarified that only cemeteries with crematoriums on site are affected by regulations designed to protect people during the coronavirus outbreak.

This means Barrow Cemetery in Devonshire Road will remain closed to all but those who are attending funerals or burials.

“When I was coming through on my bike I saw they had put a sign up saying it was closed," said Mr Wakefield.

"So I contacted councillor Ben Shirley who chased it up with the council.

“I feel relieved for people around here but anguish for those who have family in Barrow cemetery.”

Councillor Lee Roberts, deputy leader of Barrow Borough Council, said: “The decision to close cemeteries last week was incredibly difficult.

“But we simply had to comply with the legislation as it stood.

"We have a duty to take all available precautions to protect the health of our residents.

"We also want to do all we can when it comes to saving lives and easing the pressures on our NHS."

Clarity on the issue came after guidance from The Ministry of Justice and the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM).

“We welcome the clarity on the issue which states cemeteries can remain open unless they have a crematorium on site," said Cllr Roberts.

Cllr Ben Shirley, councillor for Dalton North, thanked the council for making the decision to reopen the cemeteries.

“I was contacted by a number of residents on this issue,” he said.

“I am extremely grateful to the council for doing this swiftly so people can visit loved ones graveside.”

Dalton Cemetery is located on Newton Road and Ireleth Cemetery on Broughton Road.