Mourners upset Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery closed over holidays due to COVID-19

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In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Notre-Dames-des-Neiges cemetery has closed its doors to the public until at least Jan. 11. The decision has left mourners frustrated and disappointed.

Gaetano Caucci is one of dozens who showed up Tuesday, hoping to visit a loved one at the cemetery on Mount Royal in the Côtes-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.

Caucci's mother died three months ago.

"This is ridiculous. Can't see loved one but liquor commissions are allowed to be open," Caucci said, adding he also tried to visit last week, but the cemetery was closed then, too.

Claudia Passerelli was hoping to visit her parents Tuesday.

"It didn't even cross my mind [that the cemetery would be closed]. I know there's a pandemic going on, but other cemeteries are open so I figured it would be open as well."

The cemetery next to it, Mount Royal Cemetery, has remained open with safety measures in place, as well as the Repos Saint-François d'Assise.

In a statement, the Notre-Dames-des-Neiges says it was a difficult decision to close, but because of it being one of the largest cemeteries in Canada, with about 50 kilometres of land, it would be complicated to monitor every visitor.

The cemetery is still open for burial and cremation services.