Funerals and Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Updated July 2020
Even though lots of restriction have been lifted in the UK, there are still ongoing worries about the coronavirus epidemic and how this will continue to affect us in the future. In line with Government’s recommendations, some previous restrictions have been lifted on how funerals should take place during this uncertain time, and we continue to adapt our procedures accordingly to safeguard ourselves and all the people we will come into contact with through our work during this time.
Firstly, if you are feeling unwell we would advise you to follow the NHS guidelines, to ensure you do not pose a risks to others at a funeral.
What has not changed
We are still open and available to you at your time of need 24/7.
We remain committed to caring for the families and the deceased in our care as best as possible during this uncertain time.
What we will continue to do
In line with the latest advice from Public Health England, we have put into place a range of infection controls as well as working closely with partners, such as local crematoria, to ensure we comply with their coronavirus procedures.
If we find ourselves in a position of increased risk to health, or at risk of furthering the spread of coronavirus then we may need to make some hard or possibly uncomfortable decisions on how we deliver our services to you.
In order to further protect our community, you may find when you meet our team that they are wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE) or have been instructed not to shake hands.
Please see below the changes we have made:
- Arranging funerals
- We will still be limiting the number of people who enter our premises to keep it clean and clear, however we will be available to see families face to face to arrange the funeral with the, though only if it is safe to do so and social distancing is possible. In each of our three offices we can see families keeping the 1-2 metre distance apart. In our Corsham site we have created a small outdoor summer office (see pictures), with a large parasol or gazebo to protect you from the elements if needed. If you prefer we can still continue doing funeral arrangements over the telephone, FaceTime or other similar video conferencing systems e.g. Skype. We will unfortunately still not be able to visit families in their homes, but if appropriate could visit them in their garden.
- It is always lovely to see our families in person, however at this time we would ask that you ring us instead with any queries you have. We will be happy in most circumstances to deliver your loved ones ashes for example.
- In the case of Coronavirus related deaths, we may have to arrange a prompt funeral to prevent unnecessary storage and handling of the person who has died.
- Again to limit the risks, we will still not be able to bring a person home before a funeral during this time.
- We will still request that we take the coffin into the chapel or venue before all other guests, and no staff member is required to stay in the chapel during the service. We will of course be outside should we be needed.
- Depending on the size of the funeral you want, it may be necessary to arrange a memorial service or thanksgiving ceremony at a later date. Most churchyard services and services at the local crematoria are now allowing up to 30 people to attend now. If you want something bigger it will need to wait until the Government changes the rules on this.
- We are being encouraged to use live webcasting at our local crematoria, due to the number restriction of funeral attendees. We will be happy to explain to you how this works and help implement this.
- Our Tesla limousines are now available for families to hire. However we can only allow three passengers per vehicle (we have two Teslas) and to wear a face mask if possible to protect the health of our drivers and other passengers.
Before we collect the person who has died and to ensure we are best equipped to safely deal with your circumstance, we may ask you a series of questions related to coronavirus/COVID-19.
3. Signing Paperwork
As we normally do we will help you complete all necessary paperwork relevant to the funeral, signing paperwork is still to take place mainly electronically, if this is not possible we will arrange alternative means to get paperwork to you, e.g posting/dropping papers through letterboxes.
4. Visits to our Chapel of Rest
As mentioned earlier about limiting access to our premises, we will still need to restrict visits to our chapel of rest in order to protect our staff and the families we are looking after, but will accommodate this request where possible.
As an independent business we pride ourselves on our ability to remain flexible at these difficult times and we will continue to work hard in bringing the best service we can for you at these challenging times. We will keep you all updated if anything changes.
Do not hesitate to us if you have any questions about coronavirus/COVID-19 and funerals by calling us on 01249 713134.
Corsham57a Pickwick Road, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9BS
01249 713 134
Melksham26a Church Street, Melksham Wiltshire, SN12 6LS
01225 708 736
Chippenham3b New Road, Chippenham Wiltshire, SN15 1EJ
01249 660 554