The Coronavirus outbreak has torn through the UK at a rapid rate, and as such has seen unprecedented circumstances with regulations being put in to place to restrict our movement with the intent to slow and ultimately, stop the spread of coronavirus all together.
One of the regulations the government has introduced is the banning of social gatherings, including funerals. Whilst funerals are still going ahead, most parties will not be able to attend during the ‘lockdown’ enforcement, with very specific guidelines being carried out to comply with social distancing.
So, what CAN bereaved families do during this difficult time? We have put together the most important pieces of information you will need right now to understand what you can and can’t do in regards to funerals during this global pandemic.
- You can still plan funerals, however this should be done online or over the phone, without face to face contact with your chosen funeral director where possible.
- If you or a member of your household are showing any symptoms of Coronavirus, you should be following the strict government guidelines in regards to self isolation and quarantine. Should you be responsible for funeral arrangements of a deceased family member, you should try to delegate those responsibilities where possible to other people in good health, who are not living in your household. However, you will be able to manage some responsibilities over the phone and online.
- You should still be able to view your loved one in a chapel, as long as you are actively following social distancing guidelines. If you are visiting with others, please ensure that these people are only members of your own household. Those who are vulnerable or at risk due to under lying health issues should not make the visit.
- The advised limit of no more than 10 members of immediate family can attend a funeral, although it is strongly advised to make this amount of people as minimal as possible for the health and safety of everybody involved. Social distancing should be of the highest priority, and following the guidelines set out by the government regarding this, is essential for you and your families safety.
- Whilst you can still hold funerals in most places, the church of England has closed all churches and crematoriums are very limiting with the amount of people they will allow to be in attendance. It is really important to plan and communicate with your venue clearly, as well as respecting their social distancing guidelines in the process.
- As we discussed in a previous post, online streaming of funerals was something that had been floating around as an idea and is now fully functional across the UK, in place to safely accommodate mourners. Please talk to funeral director and venue about this when you are organising the arrangements.
- Please utilise social media, phone calls and online platforms to inform family and friends of a funeral to minimise the amount of contact key workers need to come into with other people’s homes when delivering information. You can easily use social media to broadcast an event like a funeral with privacy features that allow you to do so discreetly within the groups of people that you invite or inform.
For more information we recommend using the following resources for more in depth advice during the pandemic…