STOURBRIDGE and Gornal crematoriums are to close to visitors from Good Friday in a bid to protect residents during the coronavirus crisis.

Bosses at Dudley Council have decided to close the two local-authority run crematoriums in line with government advice, meaning only mourners attending a service can enter the two sites.

The closures will also mean that people cannot visit Gornal and Stourbridge cemeteries, as they are adjoined to the crematorium.

In a further move, funerals at the sites will be limited to a maximum of ten people from Tuesday, April 14.

Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: "Following national government advice, we have taken the decision to close our crematoriums to all visitors apart from mourners attending service.

"Funerals have sadly been identified as high risk for spreading the virus and services in Dudley borough will be limited to 10 people from Tuesday. This is a restriction that is in line with government advice and will be similarly adopted by many of our neighbouring authorities.

"Our cemeteries remain open to the public, although regrettably Stourbridge and Gornal cemeteries will be closed. We appreciate that this is a really difficult and upsetting time for those who would usually visit our crematorium sites to remember loved ones, especially with the Easter weekend approaching, and our hearts go out to all who are affected.

"I would like to remind residents to maintain social distancing by remaining at least two metres away from others. It is our civic duty to stay home and only travel when it is absolutely essential in order to save lives and protect our NHS."