The North Devon Crematorium is closing its memorial gardens to the public as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Regulations introduced on March 26 instruct all crematoriums to be closed for anything other than funeral services attended by immediate family only.

The crematorium, provided by North Devon and Torridge district councils, has already introduced a number of measures to reduce the risk of infection.

Last month it halted coffin bearing and removed hymn books and some seating.

Bereavement Services Manager Mark Drummond says: “It is with much regret that we now have to stop visits to our memorial gardens to allow us to protect public and staff health and safety.

“Members of the staff who are key workers will maintain the gardens when their duties permit so that the beauty of the gardens is retained for when we are able to reopen.

“Attendance at funerals remains restricted to close family members.”

North Devon Council said it was seeking further guidance on its cemeteries.