CEMETERIES in Bolton have reopened to the public ­— just days after Bolton Council said they would remain shut.

Town Hall chiefs said they had received "revised guidance from the Government" and had reviewed the policy.

Last week the Government called on councils to reopen cemeteries if they had been closed. But on Monday the council said it had received no directive from Whitehall to do so.

But in a statement published on Friday, the local authority said: "Following revised guidance from government, the council has taken the decision to review restrictions on access to local cemeteries and crematoria which were introduced in response to the coronavirus crisis.

"The Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP, has written to all local councils in England to advise that the government has updated its guidance around the closure of burial grounds and cemeteries.

"The updated guidance states that burial grounds and cemeteries, as well as grounds surrounding crematoria, including gardens of remembrance, may remain open to allow families the opportunity to pay their respects to the deceased.

"In light of this, Bolton Council’s cemeteries and crematoria are now open for public access subject to our normal summer opening hours which are 9am-8pm."

Cllr David Greenhalgh said he welcomed new Government guidance on cemeteries.

He said:" I know there are many people, particularly during challenging times, that gain a great deal of solace and comfort from visiting the graves or memorials of those loved ones no longer with us, and I believe it is right that this continues at this time.”

Mr Clark, wrote to local authorities, including Bolton Council over the issue of cemeteries being closed to the public.

He stated: " As the Secretary of State has said, during this difficult time, it is only right that families have an opportunity to pay their respects to loved ones who have lost their lives.

"In light of this, the closures guidance will be updated to make clear that burial grounds and cemeteries may remain open, and that grounds surrounding crematoria may also remain open, including gardens of remembrance."

Some local authorities, including Bury's, opted to keep their cemeteries open when coronavirus restrictions came in.