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May 2020

Arrange a Funeral during the Coronavirus 150 150 Editor

Arrange a Funeral during the Coronavirus

There’s specific guidance about who can attend funerals at the moment.  We would ask that you read through this, if you are to attend a funeral, or you are contacting us about one,

You shouldn’t attend a funeral if:

  • you’re displaying any symptoms of coronavirus.

You can attend a funeral if:

  • you’re a family member, or lived with the person that died
  • you’re a close friend and the person that died didn’t have any close family.

Those arranging the funeral should do their best to enable you to attend if:

  • you’re a close family member self-isolating for 14-days because someone you live with is displaying symptoms
  • you’re a close family member and you’ve been advised to shield and have carefully considerd the risks of doing so.

You’re advised not to attend if:

  • you’ve been asked to shield and anyone else attending lives with anyone displaying symptoms
  • you live with someone displaying symptoms and anyone else attending has been advised to shield.

If you’ve been self-isolating because you live with someone displaying symptoms or you’ve been advised to shield then you should really consider your travel to and from the venue (ideally in a car by yourself) and make sure to keep a safe distance from other mourners at all times.

Everyone attending the funeral should follow the social distancing guidelines and keep a distance of 2 metres.

The latest funeral guidance aims to balance the needs of the bereaved to mourn appropriately while limiting the spread of coronavirus. It outlines where exceptions can be made to the current guidance to stay at home. These exceptions only relate to the death of someone you live with, a family member or a close friend. And if you are self-isolating or shielding and want to attend, special considerations should be made.

Can I still arrange a funeral?

Currently guidelines say that funerals should continue as normally as possible and shouldn’t be delayed. However, families are being asked to restrict attendance to ‘close family members’ to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus to attendees and staff involved in the ceremony.

It is no longer appropriate to hold a gathering after the ceremony at any venue, including the family home.

Also, individual crematoriums may have their own guidance based on their facilities and this will need to be considered when arranging a funeral. They may also provide online broadcasting so mourners can watch the service without attending in person.

When arranging a funeral, you must consider the wider guidelines in place at the moment, including social distancing, good hand hygiene, avoiding physical contact and to be particularly mindful of those in at-risk groups (such as those over 70 who are self-isolating or shielding).

What do I need to think about when arranging a funeral?

When arranging a funeral at the moment, it’s certainly worth considering the following before you contact us:

  • who you want to attend, being mindful of those in high-risk groups who may want to attend
  • arranging service sheets as service books are unlikely to be available
  • recording the eulogy on a phone or other recording device so those not in attendance can listen or watch at another time
  • services may need to be shorter so the venue can be cleaned between services
  • whether you might organise a celebration of life or memorial for a later date, when it’s safe to do so
  • social distancing requirements
  • whether it’s appropriate to have family members bearing the coffin
  • give particular consideration if anyone attending has been self-isolating as they live with someone displaying symptoms, or anyone advised to shield
  • those considered vulnerable or advised to shield are advised to avoid any contact with the body of the person that’s died, including washing, preparing and dressing.
If you have any concerns at all, please do contact us on the number below, and we will happily talk you through it when most convenient for yourself.  It’s a tough time, so we are trying to make this a simple and straightforward as possible.