NOTICE FOR FAMILIES REGARDING CORONAVIRUS
HOW CORONAVIRUS MAY AFFECT FUNERALS
our office will be closed until further notice.
all arrangements will be made via telephone.
our phones will still be answered as normal. if you have any questions please call on 01491 825222.
The Deceased Management Advisory Group has issued updated guidance on funeral gatherings. It states that only members of the deceased's household should attend a service, along with close family members. we must also stress that social distancing guidelines must be adhered to at all times, with mourners from different households remaining at least two metres apart. Our local cemeteries and Crematoria have also limited attendance at services, this varies depending on the location up to a maximum of 30 people.
In addition many locations are now advising the wearing of face coverings during the service. We will give you the most up to date and relevant advice when you contact us.
We will also be asking for a list of attendees names and contact details for track and trace reasons. these will be destroyed 21 days after the service date.
The way Death Registration happens has also changed at this time, once the family has contacted the Deceased's GP or out of hours Doctor they will now send the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death directly to the registrar. The family will then need to make an appointment with the Registrar as normal (details can be found here). However these appointments will now all be conducted over the telephone and the Death certificates will be sent directly to the family and the relevent paperwork will be e-mailed directly to ourselves.
We would like to provide reassurance that our commitment to caring for bereaved people and their loved ones will remain steadfast throughout this period of uncertainty and disruption.
In our efforts to protect families and everyone involved in arranging funerals, we are implementing a range of infection control options in line with the latest advice given by Public Health England. We are also working with partners, such as Minister's, Celebrants, local crematoria and burial grounds, to ensure we comply with their coronavirus procedures.
As such, we find ourselves in a position of increased risk to health, and at risk of furthering the spread of coronavirus, we will now be taking the following actions:
● Funeral arrangements are to be made entirely over the phone, with any forms that require signing being e-mailed or posted. We are not be able to conduct arrangements at clients’ homes or other venues.
● No funerals will be arranged until registration of the death has been carried out.
● Services at any venue could be cancelled. This could result in funeral services at crematoria being ‘live-streamed’ via the internet. We would provide advice aimed at ensuring everyone who needs to view the service is able to do so.
● Service times at crematoria could be adjusted and/or reduced to allow for increased demand for services.
● Limousine travel is cancelled. This means the family of the deceased and mourners making their own way to the place of the funeral.
● Staff sharing. In the event of widespread staff illness, we have a contingency plan in place with other local family-run and well-respected funeral directors to share personnel if required.
● Rest assured you will still see the same high standards of care and professionalism from all of our partner organisations.
● Viewings. We have to protect our clients and staff by restricting viewings.
● We would be unable to conduct any ‘into church’ provision or ‘into house’ during this period.
● The funeral director and staff will not remain in a chapel or other venue during the service. They will remain close by, outside, ready to assist you when required.
● In the case of coronavirus related deaths, we may have to arrange a prompt funeral to prevent unnecessary storage and handling of the deceased.
● Outside organisations will impose rules and restrictions – we will adapt our working practices to follow these.
● There is currently a more limited choice of coffins.
● Crematoriums are removing hymn books and insisting that curtains are to be closed at the point of committal. They are also asking for services to be kept as small as possible.
● Our staff sometimes find that a client will want to give them a kiss or hug to say thank you for supporting them through a difficult time. We politely ask that you refrain from doing this during this period.
Should you still wish attend a service, we kindly request:
Please do not attend if you are displaying any of the symptoms of coronavirus.
Please do not attend if you have come into contact with someone with coronavirus.
Please do not attend if you have visited the “risk” countries within the last 14 days or have come into contact with people returning from those countries within the last 14 days.
Please do not attend if feeling generally unwell.
We thank you for your understanding at this very testing time.
We will endeavour to keep you informed of any changes as soon as possible
If you have any Questions please call us on 01491825222
The church of England has issued the statement linked below:
This has never been known before and our hearts go out to anyone who has been bereaved at this time... we are working hard to keep everyone informed and up to date.
Useful Links for up to date guidance
Church of England
● Many thanks to H Porter & Sons for their help in the preparation of this notice.