A group from the travelling community ignored social distancing guidelines when they buried a loved one yesterday.

Roughly 40 mourners showed up to pay their respects to community elder 82-year-old Alfred Loveridge.

While the gathering looked substantially smaller than a traditional traveller funeral, government guidance states that only immediate family should attend, with some councils placing even tighter limits on the number of mourners.

Police have been heavily criticised for being heavy-handed with emergency coronavirus powers which include using a drone to film people going for a walk.

Some councils have limited the number of funeral mourners to 10 and members of the public are urged to stay at least two metres apart from people who are not in their household.

There is also a restriction on church services such as funerals, weddings and christenings.

The funeral was for 82-year-old Alfred Loveridge

Alfie's coffin was driven in a hearse from his home to a nearby cemetery in Upwell, Norfolk with six family members following on foot.

They were followed on the funeral route by other mourners in up to eight cars, reports The Sun.

A group gathered in a 20ft by 8ft marquee beside the grave for Alfred - who did not die from coronavirus.

Before the lockdown was put in place Alfie's son, Alfie Jr, had invited people to follow the cortege from his dad's home.

The service was held under a marquee
A group gathered in a 20ft by 8ft marquee beside the grave for Alfred

But some locals have defended the service and instead blamed 'loose' Government guidance on allowing 'immediate family' at funerals.

One reportedly said: “The travelling community around here often have large and extended families who are very close.

“The guidance about funerals under the new coronavirus conditions is very vague because how can you say who is immediate family? It all depends on how big your family is."

They added: “His family brought forward the ceremony by a week and kept it as small as possible."

The funeral was said to be pared down compared to normal ones held by the traveller community
A vicar can be seen at the graveside

A spokesman for Upwell Parish Council, which runs the cemetery, told Mirror Online: “The funeral director asked to hold the service outdoors as, for the moment, there is a restriction on what can happen in churches.

“I gave permission for that as I felt it was safer than being inside.

“All the council did was sell them the plot.”

Government health watchdog Public Health England warned that mourners need to stay 6ft (2m) apart at funerals.

Meanwhile Donald Trump said the UK's early approach to tackling the coronavirus outbreak would have been "very catastrophic" if Boris Johnson had not decided to change tack.

Donald Trump says coronavirus deaths in the US could peak in two weeks

The US president suggested the Prime Minister had looked to "ride out" the virus in an approach that would have caused "a lot of death".

Mr Trump's press conference criticism appeared to be a reference to the UK Government following a plan for so-called "herd immunity".

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Coronavirus outbreak

Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK's chief scientific adviser, told the BBC on March 13 that the "aim" was to "not suppress (coronavirus) completely... to build up some kind of herd immunity so more people are immune to this disease", while still reducing the peak number of infections to protect the NHS.

The concept would have seen the elderly and vulnerable sheltered from Covid-19 but those deemed fit would have been permitted to contract the illness in a bid to build up nationwide immunity from the killer bug.

But a week after the position was pushed in broadcast interviews, Mr Johnson, who last week tested positive for coronavirus, opted to put the UK on lockdown after seeing expert modelling predicting Britain was on course to lose 250,000 people during the pandemic unless stringent measures were taken.