City of Cape Town cemeteries will be closed for burials on Christmas Day but they will remain open for visits.
Staff will be on standby for Muslim and Jewish burials, in accordance with religious requirements, according to mayoral committee member for community services and health Patricia van der Ross.
Cemeteries will operate until 1pm only on Sunday December 26, Friday December 31, Saturday January 1 and Sunday January 2.
“We urge the public and undertakers to please take note of the amended operating hours, in the event that they’re planning a burial or want to visit a cemetery. We see an increase in visitors over this period, as families pay their respects to loved ones that they’ve lost and who are buried in the City’s cemeteries,” Ms Van der Ross said.
“To date, we have been spared a dramatic spike in fatalities during this fourth wave, so our cemetery operations have not been significantly impacted, which means we’ve not had to curb visits this time round. However, I do want to encourage visitors and funeral goers to please continue adhering to Covid-19 safety protocols at all times.”
In the past week, City cemeteries recorded 289 burials, up from 224 the week before.
The City encourages the public consider weekday burials over the festive season to reduce congestion on weekends.
“As we head into the peak festive season, I want to remind our residents to exercise caution and be extremely vigilant,” Ms Van der Ross said. “We continue to experience a very high Covid-19 infection rate. And even though hospitalisations and death remain relatively low, the risk of contracting the virus, and infecting someone who is immune compromised should be a concern to us all.
“Please do not be the reason why someone else’s festive season is jeopardised or ruined. Wear your mask, keep your distance and sanitise regularly.”