Coronavirus and funerals: latest information and advice.
Attendance at funerals
The following actions are stated in the current guidance on managing a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19 infection amongst those attending: -
- restricting the number of mourners to be as low as possible to ensure a safe distance of at least 2 metres (6 ft) can be maintained between individuals.
- alongside the Funeral Director, Chapel Attendant, and funeral staff only the following should attend: -
- members of the person's household.
- close family members.
- or if the above are unable to attend, close friends.
- attendance of a celebrant of choice, should the bereaved request this.
New government guidance for the safe use of places of worship was published on 29th June. This guidance states that funerals should have no more than 30 people in attendance, and social distancing should be strictly adhered to. Although the current guidance on funerals has not yet been amended, to be consistent this same restriction will apply in our funeral chapels from Monday 6th July.
For absolute clarity please note that as large gatherings are still prohibited generally this limit means the number who can come to the crematorium site rather than how many can enter the chapel whilst others stand outside.
Social distancing for mourners
Social distancing measures are actions to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) including: -
- ensuring that you are at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from others.
- following the guidance on hand hygiene and preventing the spread of infection: -
- wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitiser, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas.
- when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or the crook of your sleeved arm (not your hands) if you don't have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use hand sanitiser.
In any event anyone with any of the well-publicised symptoms should not come to the crematorium.
Webcasts of funeral services
Our chapels have webcast facilities enabling funeral services to be broadcast via the internet. Subject to availability (unfortunately our provider and the internet is struggling with the volume of requests) you can arrange a webcast via your funeral director and in the circumstances these are provided free of charge.
Our office has now reopened and we have also restarted making appointments for witness scattering of ashes ceremonies. Concerning the numbers attending witness scatterings the same restrictions as for funerals applies as, although the ceremony takes place outside where the risk of virus transmission is significantly reduced, there are however still national restrictions in place limiting the size of gatherings allowed.
We are also making appointments for people who wish to come to the office to discuss and arrange commemoration. However, to ensure social distancing is maintained for our staff the size of our interview room means that unfortunately we can only see one person at a time.
Crematorium grounds and chapel of remembrance
Our chapel and garden of remembrance are open as normal.
Hand sanitization and extra cleaning
The following measures are being taken to help reduce the risk to our staff and those attending funerals: -
- Sanitisation bottles are situated in reception, meeting rooms and staff areas.
- Wall mounted sanitisation dispensers are situated in our public areas and near the entrance to the chapels.
- Posters illustrating recommended hand washing procedures are displayed in all toilets.
- Regular additional cleaning is being carried out of the chapels between services and high contact areas including doors, face plates, door handles, taps, loo flush handles, reception counters, desk and table tops.
Apologies for the disruption
We apologise for all these restrictions and curtailments to our usual services and facilities and are looking forward to the time when we can get back to normal. In the meantime, thank you for your support and cooperation.
If/when there is any change to this advice, it will be updated as soon as it happens.
This advice was last updated on Thursday 2nd July 2020.