Coronavirus and funerals: latest information and advice.
Attendance at funerals
On 19th April 2020 Public Health England issued revised guidance on managing a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19 infection amongst those attending. These actions include: -
- 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.
In order to help us meet these requirements the number of mourners attending funerals must be restricted to approximately 15. For absolute clarity please note that 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 is now closed to everyone except those collecting cremation ashes. Unfortunately, witness scattering of ashes ceremonies are temporarily suspended as is the processing of memorial applications and other non-essential matters.
We are receiving a much higher than normal number of enquiries, and the pressure on our staff continues to increase as the situation develops, so please do not call or email us about non-urgent matters like commemoration or the garden of remembrance.
Crematorium grounds and chapel of remembrance
The emergency legislation which instructed crematoria grounds to be closed was amended on 22nd April and our chapel and garden of remembrance have now reopened. However, visitors should only be attending for the purposes of paying respects to a member of their household, a family member or friend.
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.
Last updated: 22/05/20